January 22, 2021

Dead animals and other art forms at @TheOtherArtFair

The average person takes an hour to skin a mouse. I know this from speaking to artist and taxidermist Elle Kaye at the Other Art Fair. Her medium is dead animals, which sets her work apart from the more traditional oil or acrylic used by artists.

The Other Art Fair is on at Ambika P3, 35 Marylebone Road until 27th April. Rather than being a collection of galleries, the different stands are filled by individual artists. The fair provides an opportunity to speak to the artists about their work and gives visitors the chance to play Spot the art world stars of the future. You can put your money where your guess is as well – all the work is for sale, with prices from £30.

Along with Charming Baker, Zavier Ellis and Rob & Nicky Carter, Tracey Emin is a member of the fair’s selection committee and also has some new editions on display amongst the 100 unrepresented artists. WIth such a number showing work there is bound to be a variable quality, and an unavoidable degree-show feel to the many different works in the crowded space. But the fair has an energetic enthusiasm which comes from its artist-led nature.

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Some of the many artists at The Other Art Fair*

Everyone will have their own favourites from the many works. Gillian Holding wanders for hours, experiencing ordinariness. Although there is ordinariness and ordinariness – her latest collages and paintings come from travels around Israel and Palestine, an area that has a unique definition of the ordinary. Non Zero One have an audience participation piece that questions responsibility and sends people into the fair with more than looking at artwork on their minds.

Helaina Sharpley creates wall-hung tea-based works in wire, whilst Trevor Banthorpe uses wood-block printing of digital images to link tradition and new technology. Four different ink blocks result in delicate hand-printed CMYK images.

There is not just fine art on display. Near the entrance Rob Hodge’s evoni design is showcasing its chill & charge tech-furniture. Wireless charging devices embedded in tables allow you to put your phone down and watch it start charging. It’s the future of tables, whilst a DJ desk with built in turntables was being used by Mademoiselle Jayne of Radio-lab to entertain the crowds.

Art Wars have a few of their contemporary artist designed storm-trooper helmets on display. These have been contributed by artists such as Jake and Dinos Chapman and Joana Vasconcelos and are being auctioned to raise money to help MissingTom, set up to try and find Tom Moore who has been missing over ten years. Covent Garden’s Hi Sushi Izakaya were also in attendance at the opening, creating sushi cones on demand. I recommend the spicy salmon, although to be honest that was the only one I had, maybe the others are just as good. I should have tried one of each.

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The prize for most unified work and clothing undoubtedly goes to Daniele Davitti

With thousands of artworks priced from £30, as well as live screen printing, pop up street food stalls and even taxidermy workshops there is lots to see and do. Personally I don’t want to learn how to skin an animal, but all the necessary tools are on display. Judging by the interest shown when I visited, a few budding taxidermists will be starting work this week. If you live in London, keep an eye on your cat.

More details about the fair

* Sam Shendi, Quing Qi, Matt Forster, Lewis Forbes, Gillian Holding, Trevor Banthorpe, Helaina Sharpley, Ricki Nerreter, Elisabeth Palsherm

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