Last Thursday Hugh and I had an evening out together* in Hampstead.
After rushing round like a maniac getting the children fed & watered I left the house in the beautiful balmy evening and got the overland train round to Hampstead Heath.
I love it up there... it feels so civilised. The heath was looking lush and the early evening shadows were dappling the path ways. There are so many great pockets in London; but Hamsptead would definitely be high up on my list of ideal places to live.
On to the fair however... we had tickets for the 'summer art soiree' which sounds posh but basically it was an evening opening with free wine - a great way to get you to be a bit more frivolous with your cash!
The last few times we've been to the Affordable Art Fair (which I'm quite a fan of) it's been with children in tow - they have a creche and also they put on some good child-friendly activities and workshops - but it was lovely to be able to wander around with Hugh and a glass of wine in hand.
Our strategy is generally to walk relatively fast and stop only when something catches our eye... there is a lot to see so if you start meandering then you never get all the way around. Plus the great thing with the fair is that there is so much variety - so some stands we just know aren't our thing - but there are a few regular stands that I'll always stop at for a closer look.
Here is a summary of what grabbed my attention last night (excuse some of my rather hurried iphone snaps).
These ceramic eyeballs by Myung Nam An at Cube Gallery looked fantastic and a little disconcerting too.
The show always has its fair share of butterfly related art (which I love... but is becoming a bit overdone). Anna Masters at Cube Gallery had some lovely 3D pieces with petals in, too.
Maps are also always a winner with me - and there were a very vintage-inspired collection by
Mychael Barratt at the Printmakers in residence stand...
where we also saw this gorgeous Snow on the Heath print among some others by Colin Moore.
At the Liberty-Gallery Alexander Korzer-Robins' deconstructed book sculptures were tempting me - I'm pretty sure I've seen them before and photos don't really do them justice - there is a lot of detail; I could spend quite sometime looking at these objects.
Next up - flowers. I loved these simple bowls of flowers by Eithne Roberts at Bowlish Gallery
and this painting by Emma Williams at Lime Tree Gallery (I do love this sort of St Ives school naive painting style)
and from flowers to birds - these small watercolours by Kate Osbourne at Nicholas Bowlby's stand...
and from birds to insects... these felt pieces by textile artist Claire Moynihan at Byard Art were an obvious choice for me, I love specimen case style artworks.
I was really drawn to these large oil paintings of gardens by Jane Hansford... Hugh had walked on and I really wanted him to come back and look at them; but with prices starting at £1,800 I don't think he even wanted to be tempted!
They were stunning though...
Finally both Hugh and I were surprised at ourselves for quite fancying a garden sculpture... I would have never imagined us wanting one; but these stoneware hydrangeas (of which I'm struggling to find an image - but this is a similar, earlier work) by Frances Doherty at Fourwalls Contemporary Art had us both wanting one.
Slightly merry on wine and with one purchase made (can you guess which!?) we headed home... but not before taking a few moments to gaze at the stunning moon which was so big and yellow (and this snap does not do it justice at all).
All in all a lovely and inspiring evening.
*otherwise known as a date night I suppose... but urgh that phase is wrong, as is play date; in my humble opinion.