Buy Art Fair Manchester


I couldn't be mistaken for an art expert but I took myself along to the Buy Art Fair last weekend, as I am always on the look out for interesting, attractive and appropriate things to adorn the walls of clients' homes.  By appropriate, I really mean that I'm hoping to hit upon artwork that will reflect some aspect of a client's personality or history; perhaps it is something rooted in their own culture, or ties in with their hobbies and interests, or maybe just illustrates their particular sense of humour.  That way, a piece ends up being more than just decorative and takes on a deeper meaning which will intensify the pleasure of owning and looking at the work.

I'm unlikely to help anyone buy a work of art that they can count on for their pension pot, but I aim to help them choose a piece that will give them great pleasure for a long time and may become a treasured family possession.

With all this at the forefront of my mind, these are the pieces that particulary stood out.  Perhaps you can conjure up an image of the kind of person who may find these appealing and in what setting.
The first works to catch my eye were these paintings by Laurence Amelie Schneider. According to her gallery entry, she paints what moves her, which seems to be fabulous flowers and frocks.  If I also say that she uses rather a lot of soft, if not totally pastel, colours then you might pigeonhole her work as being a bit sugary and suitable for little girls' bedrooms only.  Whilst many of her pieces would fit that bill, paintings of tutus being an obvious candidate, I do think her work would look stunning in many more grown-up settings.  I'm particularly drawn to her large canvases which I think would have a big impact without being overwhelming.  She works with acrylic paint on canvas, using a technique that she learnt from her father, Swiss abstract painter Gerard Schneider.  Wish my dad had taught me something as cool as that - how remiss!  

You can find her work through the friendly and helpful Lucy Berridge:
A shot of her work appears in the rather inspiring and much reviewed book, Creative Walls by Geraldine James.

The photographer who created the beautiful pictures for that book, Andrew Wood,  was on the stand as I took this snap - I never said I was a photographer: 

The works seemed to be priced in the low £1,000s

From frocks to coats - well, a lot of my clients are women and they don't apologize for liking frocks and coats.  The Buy Art Fair tries to cater for all pockets, so if you can't stretch to an original painting, you might go for a screenprint like this one by Adam Hemuss, bearing the pleasing title, 24 Coats.  He was represented by Art Dog London:

 Priced at £200 unframed
These pencil drawings by Hondartza Fraga changed the mood quite drastically.  They look beautiful displayed like this,  unframed as a grouping.  Her work is definitely worth a closer look:

Couldn't see anything so vulgar as a price tag

A slightly sinister and somewhat mischievous note was struck by these works by Alison Erika Forde.  Would they give a child nightmares?  I can imagine Lemony Snickett fans being drawn to these works.

Fit the title to the image: Bearly There, Beauty Ritual, Bloody Stump.

Priced between £700 and £850

This is the artist's take on an Alaskan Shame Pole.  Apparently these are created and used to shame debtors who don't pay up.  The person who is owed the money puts such a pole outside the house of the debtor.  Better pay that paper bill....

These two images by Yu-Chen Wang, who was born in Taiwan but lives in the UK, combine the botanical with the mechanical.  An unusual pairing that is surprising and interesting.

Yu-Chen is connected to the Chinese Arts Centre in the Northern Quarter:

Priced roughly around the £1,000 mark framed.

So much of the success of a piece of artwork in the home depends on choosing the right piece for the right spot.  What looks ghastly in one place can look stunning in another.  Many galleries and artists will bring work to your home for you to see in-situ.  You shouldn't be afraid to ask for this service, as it is the most likely way to lead to a happy outcome for all concerned.


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