EVENTS: The Other Art Fair and Moniker Festival
Written by: Victoria Highfield
Hells YES it’s London Art Week!
With all eyes on Freize this week, our contributor Victoria Highfield swung by Moniker Art Fair to see a unique side of the art market. Moniker Art Fair and The Other Art Fair come together under one roof to showcase independent and international talent from street art to beyond.
It’s about 7pm and I rock up at the iconic Truman Brewery, Brick Lane to a queue of eccentric, well dressed art lovers chatting excitedly about the Moniker Art Fair. This week has been a buzz for art lovers. Staged during London’s biggest art weeks alongside Frieze, this is art fair is definitely one you should try and catch. Whilst Frieze showcases established names, Moniker champions emerging talent and has many affordable pieces to purchase.
Walking around the space, I soon found that this particular fair goes against the demystifying art-buying process and directly connects you with the artists. There really is something for everyone, from stunning aerial photography by Tommy Clarke to Mark Mcclure’s multi-coloured geometric sculptures. If you’re into your art as more of a status piece then there’s work from big names Banksy and Tracy Emin. However some of Emin’s work was met with controversy as it often is (just think about that bed), with one critic claiming £350 was ‘plain ridiculous for a miniature sculpture of what looked like ‘a snowman made by a child’.
Although the latter wasn’t to my taste, I was pleased to see her striking nudes and trademark neon art on display with a price mark with, at a stretch, I could actually afford! I’ve been to art fairs before and this was the first one that had an actual payment plan. I was used to artworks being unattainable unless you were willing to drop a minimum of a couple of hundred quid here and there. But with prices set from £16 a month my dream art was starting to become a reality *squeals*.
Moniker Art Fair provides a refreshing view on the art world that feels fun, flirty and interactive. With a vintage bar serving delicious Moniker cocktails, a banging playlist and interactive art experiences it was a fair with a difference.
It also touched on v. topical issues that us Londoner’s face E.g. Jasper Joffe’s Brexit Photo Booth and Anna Fafaliou’s Sleep Project – a choreographed audience participatory sleeping performance. Basically a bunch of attractive people ‘asleep’ on the floor which on paper sounds like a load of shit but in flesh was a strangely hypnotic experience.
My favourite experience was the Artful Postcard project run through The Other Art Fair. It aimed to bring the joy back into receiving post – you won’t find bills, adverts and delivery menus here! The project allows visitors to send unique and personalised works of art to their friends, family or even themselves all in postcard form.
It’s inspired by our current obsession with social media and our lack of conversing by the written word (don’t forget to instagram it though: P) Simply pick up a blank, stamped postcard from the Artful Postcard stand, fill in the delivery address and hand it to any participating fair artist to decorate, design and doodle over as they wish.
Your loved ones can expect this small surprise through the postbox within 2 weeks after the fair. It was a cute reminder for me to send a message to my old romantic, nostalgia loving brother in Edinburgh.
Highlights of today’s schedule are limited edition print signings by Jealous Gallery and Reload Gallery and an art conference about how to make your mark on the arts.
Sunday 9th October 2016 11am-6pm
Pilgrim, the newest kid to Hackney's pop-up scene, is a unique dining experience inspired by the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage. This six course tasting menu includes regional dishes with a contemporary twist not yet seen before in London.
Recent times have seen an unnerving surge in right-wing politics. President Trump’s campaign to ‘make America great again’ saw him make the audacious promise to ‘build a wall’. France saw the uneasy ascent of Marine Le Pen’s National Front in its general elections and Germany’s AfD, (the first openly nationalist party in almost six decades) celebrated an unprecedented third place victory in its recent elections.
Summer is officially over. We're not sure it ever began in the first place. I guess that's one of the few downsides of living in London (other than crippling debt, tube strikes and Boris Johnson), but I digress... Magic Roundabout Old Street is raising the bar for winter, transforming the site into a tented, heated, 'Decades' inspired wonderland.
Guess who’s back, back again. Fat Macy’s back, tell a friend. No, really. Tell everyone about it. Fat Macy's supper club came back into our lives and this time around they had their Middle Eastern Feast on at the cute as a button Luminary Bakery in Stoke Newington, with a menu inspired by Ottolenghi and the #CookForSyria campaign.
Getting shouted at by a burly prison guard with a buzz cut and an offensively loud American accent isn't usually the way one wishes to begin one's night. Nevertheless, as I clamber into a very large (cheers guys) orange jumpsuit, the guard shoves a bottle of Conkers Gin wrapped in a thin towel (no fluffy Egyptian cotton here lads), into my now somewhat clammy hands. Whispering hastily at me to not get caught by the warden I'm ushered off in single file into the depths of Alcotraz.
If you haven’t heard the news yet, the world’s first black bookshop is back. Yes, after months of campaigning for funding and volunteers, New Beacon Books has reopened after threat of closure with a brand new refurb to boot. Established in 1966 by John La Rose and Sarah White, New Beacon Books is the UKs longest running independent bookshop specialising in African-Caribbean literature, cards and artwork.
London cocktail week is upon us. To be honest I can think of nothing worse than strapping on a wristband, carrying around a guidebook and queuing up for something that just needs to be brought to my sorry, tired old lips immediately. Apparently this year however, Drink Up London have released an app that eliminates all of the above nonsense. Get your ticket, download the app and get enjoying your £6 cocktails all week long. Just remember to flash your digital pass to the bartender first.
Garage and psych rock fans rejoice - The Psychotic Monks are stopping off in Camden tonight as part of their European tour. Roughly translated from French (GCSE stylee merci very much), the psych rockers describe themselves as “noise, fury, music impregnated .. with life impulses” finding a balance between “neurotic madness and contemplative melancholy”.
A bubble tea place in Finsbury Park? That also does a bangin’ teriyaki chicken rice box? Uh, hell yeah. This little gem quietly opened up last March on Wells Terrace. Y’know the spot where folks bumble off the most crowded bus in the entirety of London and damn near break a hip scampering for the tube round the corner? Yeah, that little pocket of Finsbury Park.
According to a recent Provident Personal Credit survey Londoners still remain at the bottom of the friendliness scale scoring just 6.44 out of 10. Begging the question, how could anyone be possibly proud to be a Londoner? A city where its inhabitants revel in their ability to remain as cynical and isolated from the outside world as possible. A shallow group of people who are far more interested in Instagramming their brunch then saving money to buy houses or giving back to the community.
A series of talks taking place this November shines a necessary light on mental illness in boys and young men. Speakers will gather at Finsbury Park’s Arts and Media School to raise awareness and help advise on a variety of topics including substance misuse, eating disorders and suicide.
Staying in a hotel one mile from where you actually live feels strange enough, but doing it on your own is even stranger. These photos are a visual record of me wandering the lonely corridors of a new boutique hotel between the hours of 10-12pm. I would describe the decor as handmade but not cheap, minimal but not clinical. It has the feeling that money has been spent on the things that matter.
The rumours are true: a cheese festival exists and it’s coming to North London. This Sunday. Be there or be … cheese-less I suppose. But you’ve gouda get there early: If you’re as keen as brie and one of the first fifty fromage fondlers to show, you’re in the running for a free bottle of Black Cow’s pure milk vodka. Traders will be setting up stalls along Islington’s Chapel Market: from the Raclette Brothers and Mac to the Future to La Fromagerie and The Cheese Truck.
Dream Talk. It’s like Dream Phone, but not at all. Artist Emma Alonze and musician Andy Becker have joined forces to collaborate on a (possibly prophetic) new sound art project. Londoners are invited to take a moment out of their daily commute, routine or journey and immerse themselves in a narrated collection of dreams. Taking three years worth of forty winks, Alonze has gathered and narrated a chosen few to be set to an ambient soundtrack by Becker.
Holy smoke, her nipples are on fire! Somebody pass the woman an extinguisher. Wait, why is she climbing into that giant margarita glass - does she not know it's highly flammable? She's going to need to be doused with a sizable portion of aloe vera gel at this rate, the poor lamb.