Don't Miss the Art Car Boot Fair in King's Cross

Gavin Turk's canvases made from exhaust fumes each sold for £300 at the Art Car Boot Fair 2014
Gavin Turk's canvases made from exhaust fumes each sold for £300 at the Art Car Boot Fair 2014 | Courtesy of Art Car Boot Fair
Photo of Freire Barnes
Art & Design Editor7 September 2018

If you go to a car boot sale and come home with Turner Prize-winning artwork, you’ve had an exceptional day out. You can’t argue with that. London’s best least-known affordable art event is back on 16 September 2018.

Keen bargain hunters wont find bric-a-brac, miscellaneous tat or general household utilities at the Art Car Boot Fair. But if you’re in the market for original art by the likes of Sir Peter Blake, Pure Evil, Juno Calypso or Blek le Rat at knocked down prices, then this is the event for you.

Somewhere between a fete and a bazaar, this unique one-day festival, which was set up in 2004 by Karen Ashton, has presented work by hundreds of famous artists – many of whom are Turner Prize winners – as well as emerging young talent over the years.

The Art Car Boot Fair 2014 in Brick Lane | © Dave Benett

The 2018 fair promises to be just as exciting with yet another impressive line-up of artists, including Sir Peter Blake, Billy Childish, Boo Saville, Bob and Roberta Smith, Pam Hogg, Ben Eine, Polly Morgan, Rob and Nick Carter, Rachel Howard, and Mat Collishaw, all making work that responds to this year’s theme of “The Cross”.

Sir Peter Blake with young artist Camille at the Art Car Boot Fair 2015 | © Dave Benett

Turning the premise of a flea market on its head, you’ll find the artists selling specially made works, limited editions and original pieces all from their car boots or stalls.

In previous years, there’s been live printing, wearable art, public discussions and a raffle to win art worth £8,000.

Pure Evil embellishing his prints at the 2014 fair | Courtesy of Art Car Boot Fair

To celebrate the fair’s 15th anniversary they are launching two new initiatives, the Art Cycle Basket Fair and Art of the DJ at their new location in Granary Square.

“The Art Cycle Basket Fair came about because we are embracing a more eco-friendly future and also our cycle editions can access a greater range of interesting urban spaces,” says Ashton.

“This new event will celebrate art on a bicycle, the art of the bicycle and the bicycle as art. It seemed a fun way to develop our key ethos of bringing art to the people, and to offer people the chance to snap up an artwork by up-and-coming and emerging artists.”

Pam Hogg at the Art Car Boot Fair 2015 | © Dave Benett

The emerging artists taking part in the Art Cycle Basket Fair have been recommended by Art Car Boot Festival veterans such as Sir Peter Blake and Gavin Turk.

Selling their wares from bicycle panniers, baskets and trailers, artists include Christabel MacGreevy, fresh from her solo show in Mayfair, illustrators and street art supremos Scrawl Collective, and Royal Academy of Arts screen print fellow Sadie Hennessy.

Mat Collishaw (left) at the Art Car Boot Fair in 2012 | Courtesy of Art Car Boot Fair

For Art of the DJ, the Art Car Boot Fair has collaborated with the Black Door Agency to curate an afternoon of DJ sets from Kevin Rowland of Dexys Midnight Runners, Justin Robertson, Miranda Sawyer and Lulu Levan, and Andy Weatherall, who will also be selling exclusive 12″s and woodcuts.

There will also be other entertainment in the form of a bicycle-powered cinema, a faux taxidermy workshop, interactive events from Mr Bingo and Andy Leek (AKA Notes to Strangers), and performance from a knitted swimsuit dance troupe.

And for anyone feeling romantically inclined as well as charitable, you can have a poem read to someone of your choice with Choose Love Send a Poem, which will aid the work of Help Refugees, an organisation that provides resources for refugees affected by ongoing conflicts.

Visitors at the Vauxhall Art Car Boot Fair at The Workshop in Lambeth in 2016 | © David Parry / PA Wire

The Art Car Boot Fair and Art Cycle Basket Fair will both take place at Granary Square, King’s Cross, on Sunday, 16 September from noon to 6pm. Tickets are £10 from 12pm-3.30pm, £5 from 3pm-5pm and free after 5pm.

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