With a new director, a new venue and an expanded vision, the UK’s largest artist-led contemporary art fair, The Other Art Fair, returns to Sydney in October. “Making art fair” is the theme of the four-day event. It aims to connect unrepresented artists with buyers, and to break down barriers to contemporary visual culture for those looking to purchase it.
“It’s my goal to open up the art world to people from all walks of life,” says TOAF’s newly appointed director, Laura Richardson. She comes from creative networking organisation The Dots, which is based at the new arts and cultural destination COMMUNE in Waterloo, the festival’s new site. “After all, art is subjective – you shouldn’t need a degree to have an opinion. I truly believe in making art fair.”
Following its inaugural Australian outing in 2015, which attracted more than 7500 visitors, the 2016 edition will showcase an expanded vision. This year’s fair will feature work priced from $100 by 100 Australian emerging artists chosen by a selection panel comprising some of the art world’s biggest names. These include Ben Quilty, gallerist Roslyn Oxley, art consultant Amanda Love and artist Leif Podhajsky.
Joe Helmore (a painter); Sarah Beetson (an illustrator); Chrysa Koukoura (black-and white illustrator); and Martine Vanderspuy (photographer and graphic designer) are among the artists who will present work during TOAF. There will also be a public program of workshops, talks, events and children’s activities.
This year TOAF has partnered with Sydney tattoo artist Rhys Gordon (Little Tokyo), who will collaborate with a soon-to-be-announced Australian artist to create tattoo works questioning traditional values of permanence, value and art ownership.
Young Henrys returns to run the bar alongside Archie Rose Distillery and Urban Winery. Coffee and sweets will come courtesy of Espresso Di Manfredi and Black Pantry, which will provide handcrafted-marshmallow toasting stations.
The Other Art Fair is on from October 27–30 at COMMUNE, 901 Bourke Street, Waterloo.