If you’ve been toying with the idea of beginning an art collection, The Other Art Fair is a fantastic place to start. Under the creative direction of newly appointed fair director Laura Richardson, the second iteration of the Sydney fair includes a broad-spectrum program of events, picked to enhance and lighten-up the art-buying process.
“The fair is designed to break down barriers to entry, making art more accessible to everybody, hence this year’s theme – making art fair,” says Richardson.
The jam-packed program includes art-therapy-style tours by The School of Life; a watercolour and wine masterclass by Work-Shop; and a participatory live mural titled We Made This by Chocolate Einstein. You can also have artwork by LA-based duo Kozyndan tattooed onto you by Rhys Gordon of Sydney tattoo studio Little Tokyo. To refuel there are s’mores and handcrafted-marshmallow toasting stations, and a Three Blue Ducks pop-up. Young Henrys, Archie Rose and Urban Winery will run the bar.
There will be more than 100 emerging and established artists to discover and buy works from. Each has been selected by a panel of art-world heavyweights including gallerist Roslyn Oxley and Archibald Prize winner and Australian War Artist Ben Quilty.
Here are five exhibiting artists to look out for.
Right now Melbourne-based artist Cathyann Coady’s sculpture, Dave, is pitched on a cliff to the left of Marks Park at Bondi as part this year’s Sculpture by the Sea. Dave is a bald, tubby, life-size man rendered in polystyrene and glossy, white automotive paint, his arms stretched wide to the expanse of wind, sky and ocean. It’s one of the more humorous, charming pieces on show and is reflective of Coady’s broader artistic approach. At the fair you’ll find a selection of the artist’s conceptual, pop-art style sculptures and paintings.
Also known as “Skulk”, muralist Thomas Thorby-Lister’s monochrome, sullen characters have lurked across Sydney walls for several years. He was named in the Top 50 Australian Street Artists exhibition at the Glasshouse, and exhibited at the one-off OutPost installation at Cockatoo Island in 2011 alongside street-art stars Banksy and Anthony Lister. Thorby-Lister also happens to be a talented painter and print-maker. At the fair you’ll find a selection of his expressionist and abstract-style paintings.
Sydney based graphic designer and photographer Nick Alfred creates images with dreamy colours and textures, giving his pieces a soft, painterly effect. His works depicting a peach-hued sunrise, the Sydney Opera House sail and sunlit ocean harbour tides will be at the fair. He is inspired by nature and his photos focus on daily Sydney life. The structure and balance in his work comes from his background in design.
Painter Jordy Hewitt’s work is serene, intimate and vulnerable. She was recently a finalist in the emerging-artists category for the prestigious Whyalla Art Prize, and the Hutchins Art Prize for paper-based works. Her most recent series of paintings was shown at Turner Galleries in Perth (where she is from) in June this year. Titled Pool, each piece in the series features soft, undulating greens and jades that draw out the nostalgia, magic and emotion associated with pools.
Portrait photographer and filmmaker Bryce Thomas has had his work in Yen magazine, the Sydney Morning Herald and Mark magazine. While he works commercially, with clients like Kit & Ace, Bell Shakespeare and Fitbit, he also recently produced a book of intimate portraits of surfers at sunrise at Bondi. At The Other Art Fair you can see a series the photographer shot at Lake Eyre – arid, desolate and alarmingly beautiful.
The Other Art Fair runs from October 27–30 at Commune.