Art from Battersea to Serpentine

For the first time in two years, following the now typical pandemic interruption, Affordable Art Fair is back in Battersea Park. With a VIP invitation from the good folk at Degree Art, Pawn has returned to these climbs to check out the latest on offer.

What is on is much the same as what was on the last time I made this journey to Battersea, back in 2018. There is a lot of metal — as a surface, applique, accent — and lots of bright colours. Lots of cheeky self-referential humour, lots of glamorous characters, Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe, Clark Gable, joined by Amy Winehouse, for example, or the near ubiquitous David Bowie.

Pawn’s favourite Sophie Derrick is well represented in Degree’s own booth, including the large, truly impressive, and already sold, Freed Feint, made in cut-out:

Freed Feint – Sophie Derrick, 2021

Pawn is proud to have several of Sophie’s pieces in his collection, but frankly cannot afford her any longer. 🙁

Outside of Degree’s offerings, very little truly inspires on this visit, but there is this one piece, found in a far precinct of the fair, The Lemonade Stand, by “Mr Everybody”

The Lemonade Stand – Mr Everybody

AFF have thoughtfully provided a shuttle bus for the fair, running from Sloane Square to the fair tent. I take this back to Sloane, and stalk up from there to Hyde Park and the Serpentine Galleries. The North Gallery hosts James Barnor: Accra/London, a retrospective. Barnor is a Ghana-born photographer whose six decade career included long stints in London, as well as his native Accra. Both are treated in this expansive show.

COVID protocols are in force throughout the Serpentine’s galleries, and here good use is made of the natural circular traffic flows of the space. Fashion as well as editorial pieces fill the space. Here’s a couple of faves:

A decidedly more outre exhibit awaits at the South Gallery, in Hervé Télémaque: A Hopscotch Of The Mind. Télémaque works in whatever media suits him, or so it seems. Sculpture, assemblage, painting, you name it. Some of it is quite in-your-face, and never restrained. Here’s a couple of snaps:

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