The Melia hotel near Regents Park is the unusual setting for a contemporary art fair this weekend. Set on one floor of the hotel each artist – and there are around fifty taking part – has been allocated a room. The effect is of a large open studios event albeit with a double bed in each studio. The artwork is generally displayed around the usual fixtures and fittings of the hotel room.
Most artists are showing existing pieces, but for site-specific work Room 114 is worth a visit. Giorgio di Palma from Puglia has made a selection of pieces relevant to the location. His ceramic objects ape those often seen in hotel rooms – ashtrays, telephones, slippers. Brightly coloured and positioned as though useable it is only on a second glance that their uselessness becomes apparent.
Playful ceramics by Georgio di Palma
In the collective space, delicate layered porcelain boxes by Bridget Macklin reflect the protective layers humans develop around themselves and the breaking down of barriers that is necessary for relationships to develop. Kevin Vucic Shepherd has a neat solution to the problem of hotel lighting – he keeps the lights in his room off and hands visitors a torch to view his investigations into perspective-free photography.
There are a few galleries showing, including Amstel art with a selection of urban, pop pieces. But this is mainly a fair that provides an overview of self-representing artists working today, with an emphasis on those not just from London but also Italy. The quality of work varies, but most works are for sale, providing a large choice for would-be art buyers.