In the US they seem to have lots of art fairs and shows as well as
craft fairs. However, if you Google Art Fairs in the UK, you get mainly
shows managed and run for the benefit of galleries not individual
I'm looking at creating opportunities for less well known artists,
either unrepresented or representing themselves, as well as for artists
from outside the conventional art school/gallery circuit. I am
investigating the possibility of setting up an art fair along similar
lines to UK Craft fairs, open however, only to artists (in which I
include photography). Selling art at craft fairs seems to be on the
increase, but I am not sure how well people are doing.
I would very much like to hear from anyone with comments and thoughts
about this idea. The sort of information and comments I am looking for
* Comments on the idea of a dedicated art fair
* 'One-off' show or a regular event?
* Annual or more frequent
* Single venue or 'travelling'
* Issues around choosing a venue
* Issues around choosing locations
* Practical business issues around setting up and running the event
* Tips and advice on marketing and promotion to the public
* How to spread the word amongst artists.
* Issues around selection of artists - pros and cons of juried shows vs
open events. If juried, how to maintain a transparent jurying process.
* Anything else you can think of!
Many of these issues apply to craft fairs too, so if you have experience there please help by sharing it.
Some years ago I found an old newspaper in a cupboard of the house we had just bought. Dated January 29th 1947, this edition of the Newcastle Evening Chronicle seems to show many of the same obsessions as todays media.
The main story was the impact of severe winter weather across the country, with temperatures falling to 15F (-8 C) in London and 0F (-18 C) in Moreton in Marsh. This photograph strangely shows snow at the place where I lived from the age of about 2 until I went to University.
One of the other stories on the front page is about terrorism in
Palestine, with a British Major and a Judge having been kidnapped and
held against the release of a convicted terrorist awaiting execution.
The difference of course is that terrorists in this case were Jewish,
from Irgun Zvai Leumi.
The story that really caught my eye though was the one in the clip below. In essence a dentist left his wife on Tyneside to move to the south of England. His earnings fell to around £600 a year and his wife, a doctor, refused to give up her £2000 a year job to be with him. He was granted a divorce on the grounds of her desertion!
While I intend to continue blogging here on all the usual topics, I have also started blogging at a new group blog, "Man in the White Suit", about photography the old fashioned way with film. You can see my first post here. I haven't lost my interest in digital manipulations, far from it, and if your only interest in photography is family and holiday snaps, then digital cameras are ideal. However digital media cannot, so far, capture the subtle tones possible from medium and large format film.
I've invested therefore in a new 120 film camera - like most modern technology these days, made in China - and I'm looking forward to trying it out. For the non-photographers out there, 120 film produces negatives 6cm square, although with some cameras you can get other formats. The normal 6x6 format is about four times the size of a 35mm negative.
Actually 'invested' is probably too strong a word for spending twenty quid on an overpriced toy, but the images I've seen from Holga cameras have been captivating. There is perhaps something liberating about not having a few hundred pounds worth of high tech goods round your neck. Even taking processing costs in to account, you would have to take an awful lot of pictures on a Holga to spend the equivalent of a top of the range digital.
Given that the Holga is indeed a toy, I've also bought a S/H Lubitel 166. This also uses 120 film, but is an altogether more serious - if still cheap - camera. It is an obsolete type really, known as a Twin Lens Reflex (TLR) using one lens to focus and a second to take the picture. The two lenses are linked, so that as you focus the one, the other adjusts too.
Using cameras like this means a change of pace. Winding on the film is a process of slowly winding the knob until the number of the next frame appears in a small red window on the camera back. This takes at least 30 secs. In the same period, my digital SLR (Single Lens Reflex) can rip through 50 or 60 pictures. You can't capture rapid movement with these cameras so there is no point in trying and you
begin to concentrate on the details of what is in front of you -
perhaps seeing it for the first time.
I'm looking forward to the experience.
Ipernity, the new photosharing site I am moving to, also includes provision for a blog (alongside video and audio files). So far it shows no sign of turning into a Myspace or YouTube clone. My blog space ay ipernity will I think also be devoted primarily to photography. This post, about my personal involvement in photography over the years, recycles various bits and pieces already blogged or published in some way.
I'm in the process of moving from Flickr to a new photosharing site called ipernity. This photo is from a new album (equivalent to a flickr set) called "100 views of the Tyne Bridge". I began the project while working in Gateshead, but never finished it because I moved to a new job. This particular photograph however was taken only a couple of years ago, when back in town for daughter's graduation.
For more about why I'm leaving flickr you can read this (from the associated blog at my ipernity site) or this, from another disgruntled flickr member.