This year’s Art Car Boot Fair was noticeably busier than the previous ones I have attended, despite the drabness of the day. A tipping point has been reached, and it’s unique charms are now reaching a wider crowd beyond the trendy Shoreditch regulars. Whilst this can only be a good thing for the artists (some of whom are not as well known or rich as Peter Blake) it made for a far less pleasant experience. Particularly with a little one in tow: the car park behind the Truman Brewery is not a good place to hang out with children. This meant my visit was fairly fast, then straight across Allen Gardens to the far more relaxed environs of Spitalfields City Farm, which hosts the Eco-Chic Outdoor Market every Sunday through summer. Of course I hung out long enough to make a few purchases and take copious photos… here’s what I saw.
Lots of people make an effort to be outrageous: how about this dashing cartoon character made real (above) or an amazing floral headdress to make an impact on the crowd?
Peter Blake had already packed up and gone home by the time we arrived shortly after lunch. Sadly (maybe?) I don’t think fellow famous artist Gavin Turk sold too many balloons. An Avante Garde step too far perhaps?
Chris’ Balls made a delightful pattern laid out on a rug.
Portraits by Boo Saville swung artfully in the breeze.
One of my favourite stalls every year is that of Cliff Pearcey, who has a real eye for creating up cycled products out of old tat. Above you can see Snarfle surveying my piece, Booking (Geddit?) I loves it.
The Whitechapel Gallery were trying to persuade people to slap the jelly arse by artist Justine Pearsall, and I must say it did have a rather fabulous wobble.
Felt Beatles by John Gathercole got the thumbs up from craft lovers on my instagram feed.
Pure Evil did ridiculous business, with a queue snaking around half the market thanks to his appearance in The Apprentice and subsequent fame.
Not sure who created these bizarre sock monsters, maybe good for a doorstop?!
Bespoke collages on vintage vinyl at the PIZZARTERIA by artists KEELERTORNERO.
I love this ace silk scarf by Mark Titchner. Feel Good Now: fine sentiments.
The Binnie Sisters were in residence inside a gazebo hung with their artwork, including this spooky girls embroidered portrait of two girls. Out front a painted car was for sale ‘contents included‘ – those contents including an old television heavily encrusted with paint. I’ve been trying to find out more about these intriguing artists, who together with Wilma Johnson were founders of the Neo-Naturist body painting cabaret in the early 80s.
Wilma herself had travelled over from her home in France to take part: I love her loose style of painting in black ink, then colouring in with bright colours… so much so that I commissioned her to draw our family portrait for a mere £20. Wilma Johnson is another fascinating character, having left Ireland with her three children to pursue her dream of learning how to surf when she was well past the age of 40. Her biography, Surf Mama (published by Beautiful Books), has received unanimously glowing reviews on amazon and I’d love to read it, once I find the time.
I wonder what next year will bring… in the meantime find the Art Car Boot Fair at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on 27-28th July.
- Art Car Boot Fair Review 2014
- Art Car Boot Fair 2011 returns for the Apple Cart Festival in Victoria Park
- A Review of the 2012 Art Car Boot Fair
- Print Battles at the Art Car Boot Fair 2015
- Miss Led: Miss it, Miss out!