This summer, London's academic and cultural district of Bloomsbury plays host to a selection of leading galleries and artists for the inaugural Bloomsbury Art Fair, 14-16 July 2011 in the stunning Mecklenburgh Square. Work by internationally feted artists Banksy, Nick Walker, Damien Hirst and Takashi Murakami will be offered for sale alongside art by new and emerging artists including Lisa Gunn, Lana Locke and Keith Jansz.
Opening with a flypast and music performed by the Parachute Regiment Band, the three-day charitable event provides the opportunity for collectors and first time buyers to acquire some exceptional works of art as well as support and highlight the achievements of people who have had catastrophic injuries. Organized in conjunction with the Helium Foundation all proceeds from the Bloomsbury Art Fair and profits from a selection of art will be donated to a group of charities: Motivation, the Parachute Regiment Charity, the Southern Spinal Injuries Trust and the Spinal Injuries Association.
With 40 exhibitors participating in the event, the Fair has been a sell out in its first year and has had to turn away close to 20 exhibitors setting the tone for what promises to be an exceptional boutique art event. It will showcase an exciting array of artwork displayed throughout the Courtyard Sculpture Garden, Great Hall and Piano Room at Goodenough College, with prices ranging from £100 to £20,000. Highlights to the fair include established galleries Arthur Ackermann Ltd, founded in 1783 specialising in 18th to 20th century British Art, the Helium Foundation, one of London’s premier contemporary art dealers including internationally renowned artists from Tracey Emin to Richard Prince as well as exciting emerging talent from China and East Asia exhibited by Art Chinese.
The Courtyard Garden will feature a daily live sculpture and Q&A session with sculptors Carl Payne and Michael Talbot. A selection of sculpture will also be showcased in the Courtyard Garden including a monumental piece by Johannes von Stumm, President of the Royal British Society of Sculptors and Two Figures by Lana Locke specially commissioned by the Ivy private members’ club and situated on their Smoking Terrace. Also situated in the Courtyard Garden is The Horsebox Gallery, a new touring gallery concept used to promote rural art which has already excited much interest at sporting events across the country.
Some of the pieces offered for sale highlight the talent and determination of artists who have been affected by life changing injuries. Much feted disabled artist Lisa Gunn uses her art to express and celebrate humans’ innate resilience and strength to overcome the most traumatic events. Included in the fair is an 11ft representation of her broken spine. Keith Jansz, who suffered a broken neck in a 1995 car accident and was left paralysed from the shoulders down, was persuaded to try painting by holding a brush in his mouth. His oil paintings are now much sought after.
Jennifer McCormick, Director of the Helium Foundation, says: ‘The Bloomsbury Art Fair will be a great celebration with the art world coming together to support these fantastic charities. Included amongst the exhibitors will be works created by people who have suffered severe spinal injuries and serving soldiers who have documented their tour of Afghanistan in paintings and drawings.
The support for this fair has been truly heart-warming, mainly due to meeting people who have been affected by life changing injuries. The circumstances are often indiscriminate but the determination seen in many of the individuals we are supporting is humbling.’