News / Visual Arts

Sales break records at Battersea Affordable Art Fair

Londoners who could spare at least £40 flocked to Battersea Park last month to pick up a piece of contemporary, and affordable, art.
Sophie Morlin-Yron reports

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Arts sales hit record levels at the latest Affordable Art fair (AAF) in Battersea Park. The fair, which took place last month, drew over 22,000 visitors, who spent £5.1m on affordable art which went for between £40 and £4,000 per piece.

The sales were the highest in the history of the fair, AAF said. Nicky Wheeler, Managing Director, said she is thrilled to see such interest and that, despite the last few years’ economic crisis, the AAF continues to expand. Wheeler said: “Without a doubt the recession had an impact on people buying art. The fair in October 2008 saw a drop of 35 per cent against the previous fair. However, things have been steadily improving since and the affordable end of the market proved more resilient than other areas of the arts.”

The biannual fair, which started as a small art show back in 1999, is now a global phenomenon with fairs in 15 world cities. Wheeler said: “The launch in Hong Kong in March 2013 was the most successful new AAF ever, and the new fairs in Stockholm and Hamburg were also well attended with high sales.”

Wheeler says the £4,000 price cap at AAF “has proved popular with first-time buyers and established collectors alike.”

As well as being a hub for art lovers, the fair is an opportunity for lesser-known artists to network, showcase and sell their work. Textile artist Anna Raymond was particularly successful this year. The two pieces she unveiled at the Charity Private View sold within the first two minutes.

Raymond said such an outlet holds great benefits for up-and-coming artists. She said: “It’s always important to me to attend these shows and speak directly to clients.”

At every fair more than 100 galleries showcase work from over 1,000 artists, all gathered under one roof.

The original idea for AAF was to run fun, accessible events with a wide range of contemporary art in the form of painting, photography, sculpture and installations.

What: An arts fair
Where: Battersea Park
Date: Next one up is in Spring 2014
Further details: http://affordableartfair.com/battersea/

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