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What you can expect at the first Fresh: Art Fair at Ascot

PUBLISHED: 10:05 24 July 2019 | UPDATED: 16:25 09 August 2019

Peregrine Study, by Jim Starr, at Paragon

Peregrine Study, by Jim Starr, at Paragon


With Fresh: Art Fair at Ascot fast approaching, we ask co-founder Anthony Wardle what we can expect

"From time to time I walk around my house and note the art that I pass every day without a second look," says Anthony. "If art fails to give me pause or pleasure it may be time to move it to the departure lounge."

But thereby lies two problems. How do you sell your old art and how do you ever find the time to roam around enough galleries to find the art you love?

How to find art you love

Buying contemporary art is not something you can easily do online. It happens, of course it happens, but unless you know the artist well or it's a fairly two-dimensional print or you're buying a masterpiece at auction, then you need to see it, feel it, walk around it, even live with it a little. So you go to an art fair.

"Fresh: Art Fair is the easiest way to browse and buy art," says Anthony. "You'll be able to visit 53 galleries in one place, see 6,000 works by 600 artists, all in a couple of enjoyable hours, with a coffee or a glass of wine in your hand. Sound good so far?"

There'll be original prints and paintings, sculpture, glass and ceramics from as little as £100 to £30,000, but most of them well within most people's budgets. There'll be everything from exciting emerging talent to Royal Academicians. Blake, Hockney, Hirst, Emin, Banksy and McLean will all be there.

Unlike the many artist fairs in the Thames Valley, Fresh: exhibits only galleries. "This means we can show the work of far more artists, professionally hung in large room-like spaces," says Anthony.

"All our Galleries are experts with their fingers on the pulse of the market; Chelsea's Quantum Contemporary Art, Cube Gallery from Marylebone, Linton59 from Cambridge and Lime Tree Gallery from Bristol, no less than three of the best Dublin galleries and Bruno Dahl from Denmark."

Some of the Sources of Pop Art 4, by Sir Peter Blake, at Wetpaint GallerySome of the Sources of Pop Art 4, by Sir Peter Blake, at Wetpaint Gallery

How to sell your old art

So many people say: "I'd be happy to sell some of my paintings but I just don't know where to start." If you have a Basquiat in your attic then not a problem, but eBay is an ignominious end for the little landscape Auntie Mary left you.

In a world-first for art fairs, Fresh: asked International Fine Art Auctioneers Bonhams to join them. Visitors are invited to bring up to three old, pre-contemporary paintings or sculptures for a free valuation and advice on selling. They'll be happy to consign suitable works to the next appropriate sale.

How to choose and hang you art

Here's another mystery... What guidelines are there for making art work in your room scheme? Fresh: asked Interior Designer and Instagram phenomenon Dee Campling to tell them. Dee will be giving a series of talks about art in interior design and will be happy to take your questions.

How to frame your art

That's another thing. Framing can make or break a painting…you may not want to sell it once you have it properly framed.

Leading London picture framer and fine art fabricator Darbyshire will also give a series of talks about how to choose frames and how framing is important in art conservation. Darbyshire works with artists, galleries, collectors and museums and creates frames and display cases for many of Britain's famous names.

Prints and print-making

Fresh: Art Fair always has painters and sculptors demonstrating their talents. At Ascot there will also be at least one print-maker.

There are prints and there are original prints. The first are simple reproductions produced on huge machines, sometimes in thousands, and involve no artistic skill whatsoever. You might as well take a photograph of a painting and print it on your old HP... that is a print. They tend to be cheap and you will NOT find them at Fresh.

Original prints, on the other hand, are produced in many ways but always with the direct involvement of the artist. They may be etchings, engravings, lithographs, screen prints, woodblocks or linocuts. They are often called impressions rather than prints and are always produced in numbered editions and signed by the artist. Each colour in a print usually requires a separate stone, plate, block or stencil, and any of these basic processes may be combined in the creation of a finished work.

Presiding over the entire Fair and the Private View in particular will be Fresh: sponsor St. James's Place Wealth Management. At the Private View there'll be live jazz, good wine, a thousand or more guests and a huge buzz. We hope to see you there.

John Evans – Lime Tree Gallery, BristolJohn Evans – Lime Tree Gallery, Bristol

Fresh: Art Fair will be in the Grandstand Concourse at Ascot Racecourse from 20 to 22 September 2019 with a Private View on the evening of 19th.

For more information, visit Freshartfair.net.

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