Packed full of art, immersive experiences and interactive features, The Other Art Fair returns to Arnolfini this weekend (Friday, September 1-Sunday, September 3). From photography to stencils, sculpture and ceramics, the Fair brings over 80 emerging artists together to meet potential buyers face-to-face. Here’s our indispensable top-ten checklist of don’t-miss events and activities:
1. Sample the best of Bristol
This year’s Fair features a great selection of local and emerging talent from Bristol. Among many others, look out for Tom White’s artwork that captures urban Bristol life in all its gritty beauty; bright bold colours from Angie Kenber; and Martin Turner’s hyper-realistic drawings.
2. Doodle on the Cardboard Castle
The towering Cardboard Castle by artists Joanne Hummel-Newell and Christopher Jenkins will be in attendance, and adults and kids alike are invited to draw their thoughts and dreams onto its walls. Created from willow and found cardboard, the Castle invites visitors to paint, write and draw all over it, creating a collaborative colouring board.
3. See the world through a baby’s eyes
Ever wondered what the world looks like through a baby’s eyes? The Guardian will be bringing its revolutionary virtual reality (VR) experience First Impressions to the Fair. Using state-of-the-art technology, First Impressions enables viewers to explore how a baby sees the world during the first six months of life. Drawing on the latest academic research, viewers can relive the dramatic visual development that happens over this time.
4. Have yourself a hand poke tattoo
Sarah Lu of Needle and Chopstick will be inking brave visitors using the traditional hand poke method. Drawn freestyle with, yes, a needle and chopstick, hand poke tattoos go back to basics using ancient techniques to create an original and distinctive style. Sarah will create her series of bespoke designs at the Fair, inspired by the work of the artists exhibiting her. You can book your very own hand-poked tattoo through the website here.
5. See all the Colours of Bristol
You may have spotted the colourful hashtag #ColoursofBristol on Instagram, as we at Bristol24/7 in collaboration with our friends @porthjess and @joyfulbristol have been asking the public to capture our city’s most colourful vistas. The best of the photographs submitted will be brought together to make one giant printed rainbow exhibition featuring your beautiful Bristol snaps. See if you can spot yours!
6. Have some Encounters
Encounters Film Festival’s Best of British guest programme brings six new filmmakers to exhibit their short films at this year’s Fair. Best of British showcases raw emotion through the medium of film, addressing themes such as the impact of crime and greed, the joy of creation, families separated and reunited and the fear of facing one’s demons.
7. Visit a gallery in a skip
Parked outside Arnolfini for the weekend, SKIP Gallery re-imagines the humble skip as an inspirational, unconventional space. Alongside new talent, the gallery has shown installations by international artists such as David Shrigley and Ben Eine – as well as holding hugely popular life-drawing micro-classes inside. Check back on the Other Art Fair website for news of activities in the SKIP.
8. Play a poetry-fuelled game of Consequences
Bringing an interactive twist to poetry, sisters Bibi and Laurie Cole have created I, the Poet. You, the Poet – an immersive experience where visitors are invited to create their own poetry. Much like a game of consequences, visitors can create poetry and imagery of their own in response to the previous entry.
9. Buy some art of your own – affordably
Inspired to buy some art at the Fair, but not feeling flush? Head over to the Own Art desk. Own Art make buying art a whole lot easier by letting you spread the cost of your new purchase over a period of 10 months with an interest-free loan.
10. Get talking
Most importantly, The Other Art Fair is about making art buying accessible to everyone by bringing the artist to you to chat about their work. Take your time, enjoy the atmosphere and make the most of chatting to the artists in a relaxed, social atmosphere!
Tickets for The Other Art Fair Bristol (Sept 1-3, Arnolfini) can be purchased from bristol.theotherartfair.com. Children under 16 go free. For up to date news and announcements, follow @TOAF_Bristol on Twitter and theotherartfair on Instagram and Facebook.
Read more: Interview: Tom White