Thursday, 7 March 2013

The Other Art Fair 2013 featuring The 100 Mothers Show

Ryan Stainer's Other Art Fair is London’s leading artist-led fair. It connects art lovers of all tastes and experience directly with the most talented emerging artists before they are signed. From the 25th to the 28th of April you can buy direct from 100 of the best unrepresented artists. All artists chosen by their selection committee of experts (Yinka Shonibare, Mila Askarova, Laura McLean-Ferris) The address is: "AMBIKA P3" 35 Marylebone Road, London NW1. Works are on sale from as little as fifty quid. If all that wasn't already reason enough to go to the fair - it's just been announced that, as an added bonus, visitors to T.O.A.F will now also get to see 100 Mother paintings. This collection of paintings of artist's mums was put together by Harry Pye with help from Mat Humphrey, Jasper Joffe, Emma Ridgway and also vital support from Eilidh Crumlish, Edward Ward, Gordon Beswick, and Elizabeth Haarala. The paintings have been exhibited at Chester Uni, The Oh Art Gallery at The Oxford House, The North Edinburgh Arts Centre, The Sartorial Gallery in Notting Hill, and The Festival of Firsts in The Wirral. Mat Humphrey: "For me, the notion of painting my mother was very difficult, and also extremely rewarding. It forced me to sit down and think harder and more specifically about her than at any other time in my life. It also made me look harder at her face than perhaps I had before. I photographed her many different times, with the portrait in mind, and spent time watching her different expressions. I saw how the years had affected her skin and the way it creased and folded as different emotions took shape in the muscles around her eyes and mouth. I waited until I felt like I had captured some of the glint in her eyes that betrayed her impish humour. The colours I used were emotionally triggered. I used browns for her skin tones, as it felt right. Earthy and permanent. I gave her eyes a turquoise that belied the power, not the true colour of her gaze, and I gave her iconic gold radiations, as she is my creator, not god. I found it hard to end the painting. I didn’t want an end. It takes no psychologist to work out why. She was moved when she saw the result, and I was relieved at that. It felt like an honest and emotional thing to do, and I believe that everyone, whether they consider themselves to be an artist or not, should paint a picture of their mother." Rowland Smith:"The portrait is a picture of my mum at a party with my dad from the time before they were married and long before I was born. It’s copied from a small black and white picture which I had to enlarge to fill the canvas. My mum likes it because it is not a present day portrait. My mum compares herself unfavourably to A Grotesque Old Woman by Quinten Massys. I disagree and so do most other people who meet her but I guess mum is comparing herself now to the young woman she once was. This brings me back to the questions that were going round in my mind while I painted, making me think about who ‘my mum’ is. Is the young woman in the photo my mum or is my mum the woman who brought me up? Did she have any idea that she would be my mother when the photo was taken? What was she thinking of back then? What were the things that were important to her? It made me more aware of my mum being a person independent of me, with a past and a future, how much more of life she has seen.” Sean O'Connor:"I made this painting whilst I was studying at Chelsea college of art and design. I think that I was supposed to be using my time more constructively rather than painting a picture of my dear mother Barbara. The painting depicts my mother, naked in a mountain landscape with her cat Nelson (1991-2006) draped around her neck, scarf like, for warmth and security. Babs is painted without clothes to show her vulnerability, the mountains ( perhaps her homeland Snowdonia ) are there to enhance this feeling. My mother is a dangerously committed smoker, so I painted Nelson, her companion and confidant, taking a drag to help Babs shoulder the harmful effects of nicotine addiction. I am very fond of this painting and I felt that the portrait did her justice as a caring, loving , sensitive lady, that gives more time to others than she does to herself. When I showed Mum the painting I don’t think she really liked it, firstly it is not in a painterly style that she favours and secondly she would rather have seen herself clothed and minus the fag. My Dad liked it though and I think he knew what my intentions were, he was proud to see it in print and showed the exhibition publication to friends and family members." (Please note: It costs £6 for a ticket to see The Other Art Fair although obviously Mum artists and their mums can get in free. The 100 paintings in the collection are not available to buy individually. A list of the artists in the collection whose work is being displayed will be online soon.) Geraldine Swayne: Bula Chakravarty Agbo: Bula: "She taught me how to read, she taught me how to write. On sunny days we sat in the shade on the veranda cutting green beans and pealing tangerines; two for you, one for me. We watched dragonfly's hover above bright pink zinnias and chased butterflies into the marrigold borders. "Oh look Ma! there's that baby elephant again; Is it going to work with her Ma?" I would ask as they walked past our home every morning. Looking back now I knew it was Ma who taught me grace and beauty, good manners and gentility. And Oh! Girls don't climb windows, or else they might turn into boys! She still shares her wisdom with me, even now...but it's mostly over the phone. As she's in Assam and I in London. How I miss my Ma." < The Other Art Fair's p.v is Thursday 25th 5pm till 9pm, on Friday the 26th and Saturday the 27th it's open 11am till 7pm, on Sunday the 28th it's open 11am until 6pm)

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