Wondering what to do with your weekend? Well if you’re an art lover or budding collector, then on Friday 18th and Saturday 19th October 2013, Chelsea Town Hall hosts the eighth Parallax Art Fair. Now in it’s third year and hoping to attract over 3000 visitors over the two day event. It promises to be a major event on the art world calendar – and a great opportunity for casual browsers and Christmas shoppers too.
With Parallax being the biggest art fair of its kind, it attracts around 200 exhibitors from all over the world. International artists will showcase work across all sorts of forms, including jewellery, bags, clothing, textiles, crafts, art, sculpture and many more.
The fair attracts both established and completely new artists to exhibit, and we are told that the pricing will appeal to almost every budget. “It’s a wonderful opportunity for Christmas shoppers to obtain very special, unique gifts, and for collectors to indulge in some exceptional and unusual art, often very affordably,” says the founder Chris Barlow.
Parallax is not your average art fair. Conceived by art historian and theorist Barlow in 2010, it grew out of the extraordinary exhibition he curated in that year. Unlike many other art fairs it operates entirely commission-free, the idea being that both new and established artists will be able to exhibit without financial risk, allowing them to trial new forms and concepts on an equal footing.
“Parallax is a unique experience,” says Barlow. “It is the first event of its kind based on deconstruction theory. The objects on display are considered as possibly not “containing” meaning as such; it is the viewer that imparts meaning to the objects.”
He hopes the art fair will prove to be thought-provoking for those who attend, as well as a memorable, enjoyable experience. He says, “It will hopefully cause visitors to self-examine, and consider the meaning and purpose of things, including ourselves.”
This year Barlow hopes Parallax will reach a broader audience, and is mounting an intensive marketing campaign to publicise it. He wants to “demystify” art and make it both intellectually and literally accessible to many more people. By removing the hierarchy of cost and renown for the exhibitors, he hopes to create both a stimulating and fascinating art event, and a superb opportunity for those outside the art world to enter it without pressure or prejudice.
“Art is for everyone. There is a myth that it must be “understood” – but who is to say what’s right?” he commented. “It can be an investment of course, but it can also simply be a Christmas present, or even just an enjoyable experience. It also doesn’t have to cost a fortune. There are so many misconceptions about art – I genuinely hope that Parallax will help to start addressing some of them, and encouraging people to think about what art actually is.”
Parallax has a completely open admission policy, and will run from 1-8pm on Friday 18th October and 11am-5pm on Saturday 19th October.