Collectors’ Top Picks From Woolwich Contemporary Print Fair 2021
Woolwich Contemporary Print Fair is proud to champion emerging and independent artists, giving them an opportunity to showcase work within a large-scale art fair that is so often exclusive to those only with gallery representation.
Our unique model of 50% exhibiting galleries - bringing in big names like Yinka Shonibare, Bridget Riley, David Shrigley and Julian Opie - and 50% independent artists, selected through an international open-call process, means these artists can sit alongside celebrated names and be possibly picked up by specialist galeries.
We received almost 4000 artist applications from across the road, with the exhibiting works chosen from a panel of industry experts.
Choosing the 2021 top picks was no easy task. So we asked the experts - a panel of leading Creatives, Collectors & Curators - to share their favourites from WCPF21 artists and why. All of the following were chosen as favourites by at least two of the panellists.
Becky Haughton’s Cloud series came about during lockdown, when the artist was unable to access printmaking facilities and instead turned to learn the mokulito process using her home mangle press. Working from a collection of cloud drawings, Becky then went on to develop these with an offset-litho press to create reimaginations of landscape memories.
Selected by our Director, Jack Bullen, as one of his top picks, he discusses Haughton’s work in the upcoming Mirabeau online wine tasting with Co-Founder Jeany Cronk who also chose a Haughton piece, Golden Hour, which each reminded the pair of their home regions respectively - The North Pennines and Provence.
Also selected by both Directors, Jack Bullen and Lizzie Glendinning, are the beautiful monotypes, Dupe (L'Odalisque Blonde) and Dupe (Young Woman) by Natasha Michaels whose work lies in the historical painting genre from the Renaissance to the 19th century. Exploring, challenging, and reinterpreting traditional conventions and genres, Michaels’ work is an investigation of her own ambivalence towards the originals. Lizzie has already acquired Michaels’ work from previous years for her own collection.
A real eye-catcher, Dancing Daydreamer, Hot Pink explores the modern muse through the continuous line of the nude figure. Originally an observation of the female form, the overlapping composition of the line-drawn silhouettes offers a whimsical mystic; a dream-like quality of dancing figures. The vivid use of pink bleeds across the page, adding to this fantastic sense of motion and energy. Both @young_art_collector and Jeany Cronk, art collector and Co-Founder of Mirabeau wine selected this painterly piece within their top picks.
Described by the experts as “exposed, tender, witty, and inventive” and “a really unique piece, part dream, part childhood memory”, The Spirit of the Three-Piece-Pine was an easy favourite from this year’s lineup. Drawing on artist Evgeniya Dudnikova’s fascination with supernatural and fantasy creatures, as well as her thematic exploration of nature, culture, philosophy and dreams, this artwork is both symbolic and surrealistic. The application of multiple colours makes this linocut / monotype resemble a painting, or a multilayer mosaic.
Art critic Tabish Khan (@londonartcritic) summarises the wonderful qualities of Suzanne Moxhay’s Room with Trees and Vegetation beautifully; “An abandoned setting has never looked so good as there’s a cinematic quality to these photomontages based on a combination of space as nature, both fauna and flora, reclaim back what was once occupied by humans.” Moxhay’s works moves fluently between real and illusionary space, between idealized and dystopian environments. Her latest work features broken down interiors, creating hybrid spaces that merge inside and out, juxtaposing the intimate and the undomesticated and take on the quality of an empty stage set. Sourced from photographs, prints in old magazines and painted elements, fragments are physically collaged and constructed, re-photographed and digitally manipulated, creating a space between the original material and the staged or theatrical. The artist’s world is at once familiar and uncanny, and as with film, requests that the viewer embarks with a suspension of disbelief.
Heart by Amy-Leigh Bird is a real centre-piece. An inanimate object titled after the love organ, it follows the artist’s thematic inspiration by the natural world. Indeed, for the past two year’s Bird has scavenged the banks of the river Thames in search of stranded bones to study, collect, and share the story of remnants of the countryside that have ended up in the heart of London’s urban environment. By combining manmade and natural found objects into her work, she hopes to reconnect humanity with itself.
Stephen Chambers RA summarises this woodcut perfectly: “Virtuosity can so often be a security blanket, print makers can so often ’show-off’. There is nothing hidden in this print; raw, and expressive, and inviting of speculation. A contemporary print, discussing history. Olè!”
A picture-within-a-picture, Velázquez Study is typical of Jake Garfield’s playing with fiction and reality. You’ll often see mirrors, masks and meta-worlds within his work that blur the distinction between the world of the artist and the world of the artwork.
Nicole Rose’s work, as an artist and designer, explores the emotional response to the natural world around her. Alongside her abstract landscape oil paintings, she creates complementary prints that are at once a reflection of the original painting – and a new perspective on it. Focusing on a photographed section of a finished painting, Nicole works in Photoshop to reimagine and rebalance, creating a run of limited-edition giclée prints that are both a part of the original works – and a fresh response to the landscape in their own right. The finishing effect is elegant and ethereal. A favourite of both Founding Director of V&A East, Dr. Gus Casely-Hayford OBE, and MT Art Agency CEO, Marine Tanguy (@marinetanguyart)
Having spent the majority of 2020 under lockdown, we have spent a lot of time contemplating our local spaces and their significance to us. This sense of complentation and slowing down comes through in Kristina’s practice, which explores narrative and place. The contrast created by the coloured overlay to the right creates interest, a story that you could read for hours.
Kristina has exhibited with WCPF for a number of years and for 2021, The Ingram Prize-winner presents exceptional pieces both within the Curated Hang of independent artists, and with Anise Gallery [link to Anise on Artsy].
“I have admired Chan’s practice for a long time. These fantastical, wilderness inspired works detail a story each of their own, hinting at a narrative and place. Chan displays a preciseness and depth that is almost unmatched.” Mollie Barnes, 2021 WCPF Selection Panelist & Founder of @she_curates_
Hear Mollie in conversation with Kristina about her work as part of The Online Edition programme HERE.
Despite its ghostly depiction, there is a rawness and character to the figure in this artwork by Daisy Jarrett. Intriguing, yet familiar, Melt explores themes of domesticity, womanhood, social media, body image and the everyday. Favoured by @she_curates_ Founder, Mollie Barnes, the painterly qualities of another of Jarrett’s exhibiting monotypes, Slumber, was a favourite of contemporary art collector, @young_art_collector.
See a full list of Collector Picks HERE.