Reading Contemporary Art Fair 2012

Having spent some money last year, we received invites to this years opening (free admission AND a complimentary glass of wine!) I was mildly interested in going just to see Sir John Madejski cut the ribbon. Amusingly, the event was pretty much in full swing with people walking around the stalls before the official opening time, which he mentioned several times (when he wasn’t droning on about Reading FC getting promoted),  so the ribbon-cutting was pretty much a non-event. Having a decent PA system would have helped to inform people what was going on too.


I do feel that I am wasting the artists’ time at these events. It’s very unlikely that I’m going to buy anything that costs more than double figures, no matter how much you chat away to me. There are a lot of interesting items on offer but they needed to be damned special to separate me from a week’s wages – or a month’s in some cases.

I did enjoy seeing IT becoming art with quick response codes being turned into pictures:


Sadly, the reflected strip lights on the black code make it unreadable but the blue code hides a message which you should be able to scan from the photo:

“Slowly guide my tread
Along these happy memories.
~Ross Hale~

The artist group’s website is viewable through the “real” QR Code in the top right. Maybe I’ll email them to find out who Ross Hale is…

This year we decided we would definitely get something from the Prince’s Trust charity stall where artists donate small, fixed-size square paintings and drawings. A few caught my eye but only one was an obvious purchase for both of us – a plasticine figure sitting outside the defined world with the Dymotape message “LIFE IS GREAT”. Observers have drawn comparisons with Morph but I think that’s probably down to the photo I’ve taken – from other angles, subtle differences change the character of this “dude”.

(By coincidence, the artist is the same Leigh Saunders (of Reading’s Castle Galleries) that created the Plaice Invaders piece we bought LAST year! Have to see what he comes up with next year and if we can spot it unaided.)


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