The fair’s originator and organiser Karen Ashton has assembled a glorious line-up of art world stars, including legendary punk poet John Cooper Clarke, Marcus Harvey and Sir Peter Blake, all of whom will be at the event selling prized editions of their works.
In collaboration with Alteria Art, Cooper Clarke has created a silkscreen print with the lyrics of one of his most famous poems, Chicken Town. The artwork features an outline of Cooper Clark’s hand – ‘the hand’ being this year’s theme – overlaid with verses from the poem, and will be sold with an MP3 player in the form of a pin badge and headphones. The MP3 player features one track of Cooper Clarke reading the poem.
Pop artist Sir Peter Blake, always a huge crowd puller – at the London edition of the fair in June fans queued all night to get a signed print of the Queen’s head – has created a new print based on an existing collage work called Hastings Memories, which is formed of objects he found lying around the fishing boats along the promenade.
Meanwhile, Marcus Harvey will be selling works including a sandcastle with a Union Jack flag made from ceramic stone created specially for the fair, and a silkscreen print based on his highly controversial portrait of the ‘Moors Murderer’ Myra Hindley, which was first shown at Sensation, the 1997 exhibition that introduced the so-called Young British Artists (YBAs) to a national audience. That version of Myra was made using casts of an infant's hand, however this print is based on a 1997 version created with plaster casts of sundry plastic objects, including children’s toys and iconic sweet brands that Harvey associated with the period.
Those wanting to see more of Harvey’s oeuvre won’t have to travel far. The fair is being held at The Stade, a public outdoor space in the fishing quarter and next to Jerwood Gallery, which is staging a solo presentation of the artist’s most recent work.
Other artists participating include Sir Quentin Blake, the revered cartoonist, illustrator and children's writer best known for illustrating books written by Roald Dahl, Keith Coventry, Martin Creed, Rachel Howard, HelenA Pritchard, Gavin Turk and – for the first time – Mr Bingo. Tracey Emin, normally a stalwart supporter, is unable to attend this year’s event, although editions of her work will be on sale through her company Emin International.
In addition to the chance to nab some serious art bargains, there will be a range of entertainment including sleights of hand, glove puppetry, handbag slinging, hand-printing, street food, locally brewed beers, delicious wines, gourmet hotdogs and more. And if vintage cars are more likely to tickle your fancy, Vauxhall Motors is dusting off its heritage collection and will be bringing along a handful of Vauxhall Victors and a quintuplet of ADAMs for artists to use as pitches and installations at the event.