A new art fair opened it’s doors to the public today and is already picking up quite a bit of traction with locals. The Phoenix Gallery on Waterloo Place in Brighton is hosting the print fair for the next 10 days displaying a vast collection of works that are for sale to the public. The many rooms on it’s ground floor have been turned into exhibition space for the works and entry is free, so why not take a wander down towards the Level and check it out? You may have noticed a few new stencils spray painted onto the floor in and around the Level and London Rd. I certainly did and after following their trail I found myself within the company of a whole host of great artworks.
I spoke to the fair’s director Jon Tutton, who took me on a tour of the space as he told me about the exhibition. The fair has a wide range of pieces for sale and, as Jon explained to me, offers art fans a compelling deal; “compared to a small painting, prints offer buyers extremely good value for money.”
I asked Jon why he chose to host the fair here in Brighton.
“Brighton has got a very strong print-making presence, there’s at least 4 print studios, 2 of which are open access so anyone can go along. I think it [print-making] suits Brighton because it’s got the history but it’s also a very democratic, if not necessarily expensive medium. I’ve sold prints here at £10 and it goes right the way up to £600 or £1000, but generally even for large prints you’re getting a very good deal as an art buyer” (Jon Tutton)
Jon took me over to one of his favourite pieces in the exhibition and told me a little bit about how it was made:
“This one is a linoleum screen print with spray paint, it’s a one-off, is going for just over £300, which compared to a tiny painting is incredibly good value” (Jon Tutton)
The flexibility and variance in price points and styles is sure to attract lots of buyers looking to adorn their walls with some beautiful visual materials. I spoke to Elin Star, a Britonian interested in the prints who, after a quick look around, I found waiting for her daughter on the steps by the entrance. She had come to the fair to buy a piece for her daughter, but joked that the fact that she had kept her mother waiting meant that maybe she had time to change her mind…
Elin expressed her love for print-making as a process and as a medium, and her happiness that an eclectic mix of prints were being showcased here in Brighton. She told me how she thought that “print-making is a rather neglected as a medium so it is nice to see it celebrated!”.
The exhibition is host to an international mix of artists’ works, showcasing pieces not only from local print-makers, but from many other locations across Britain and abroad.
“Because the artists don’t have to be present, the artists on display are from all over the place. We’ve got pieces from France, Belgium, Scotland, but there are also quite a lot from Brighton too.” (Jon Tutton)
Aside from the exhibitions that are open to wander, the fair is also host to various subsidiary activities that visitors can partake in, including classes and talks designed to encourage budding artists to try their hand at print-making, or to provide the curious with more information about the medium and how print-making works as a process.
The Brighton Print Fair is open to the public between 11.00 and 18.00 running up until Sunday 24th, before the exhibition space is used for another show, so be sure to get down to the Phoenix Gallery before it’s too late!
For more information visit – http://www.brightonartfair.co.uk/