The Other Art Fair Sydney is over. It’s now moved on to London and I’ve had some time to take stock of the somersaulting baptism of The Other Art Fair that brings emerging artists in close contact with emerging art collectors.
I sold two works on opening night, one to the home of the National Arts Writer for The Australian newspaper. The next day nothing; day two nothing, then in a flurry on Sunday morning I sold all my remaining works before lunchtime.
Since then, I’ve sold another four works from the It’s For Your Own Good series. A sell-out show. Plus two prints – and another work from my new portraits series. It’s unprecedented for me. And while it’s certainly not all about sales, it certainly helps.
It’s also about getting out there amongst it. They say everyone on display was selected by Ben Quilty and Roslyn Oxley. I’m not sure they’d know my work if they saw it again, but it’s nice to be recognised.
I would never had such a successful show without the help of the artist who set up next door to me, Shane Drinkwater.
After seeing me dither and be completely at a loss at how to speak with fair-goers, he just pulled me aside and gave me a simple tip.
“Just introduce yourself and ask if they have any questions.”
It’s simple advice and it put me right at ease. I could talk to people about my work, what inspired it and the childhood stories behind them. It was incredible how people opened up in my little booth – sharing their stories and how growing up in Australia shapes us and forms us as adults.
People even texted me photos of their own childhood toys and reached out to me in private to tell more of their lives as kids. The Other Art Fair Sydney has changed me, it’s like the seafloor has dropped away, creating this powerful wave in me. No one can see it just yet, it will start cresting soon as new works are pushed to the surface.