Sarah Mayhew Craddock finds art fair purchases to suit all tastes

Oxford Town Hall opens its doors this weekend to the second Oxford International Art Fair. Building on the success of last February’s inaugural fair, this year’s will be bigger, brighter and bolder, with more than 150 artists from over 30 countries.

Love it or hate it, this incredible display of art is the city’s largest showcase of contemporary art to admire and to buy for the domestic or office setting. There should be something to spark conversation, split opinions, and suit almost all tastes and budgets.

Co-organiser Joelle Dinnage, from the Global Art Agency, said: “There is such a great range of varied artworks on show, from paintings to sculptures, and from ceramics to jewellery.

“With thousands of unique pieces for sale, each visitor should be able to find something that suits their style.”

Works are selected for diversity, with early-career artists next to established ones, international artists next to locals.

The Oxford-based exhibiting artists include Gareth Lloyd, Grace Exley, Malcolm Moor, Annemarie Plint, Gena Johns, Hannah Morgan, Albion Gallery/John Eades, Yvonne L Jones, Mike Dolla Mdlalose, Elaine Marston, Chau Art, Daiva Kojelyte-Marrow, Cathryn Jeff, Fillingdon Fine Art, Sabine Barber and Kieran Stiles.

Artists from further afield whose works caught my eye included Sharon Lemmer, whose beautiful mathematical, geometric shapes are created by pushing paper to its limit. The photographer Hermes impresses through his use of a “dodge and burn” analogue technique in pursuit of capturing social conflicts. Elizabeth Helen’s work commands attention through its fluid and confident mark-making, whilst Marissa Calbet captures the atmosphere of mystical seascapes wonderfully, and Roland Behrmann’s enthralling black-and-white images portray highly dramatic events in a perfectly unspectacular way.

There will also be some work that may look familiar — as the saying goes, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Take the Henry-Moore-esque sculptures created by Moore’s former assistant Peter Hibbard, whose work will be available to buy at the fair through the Outpost Gallery.

Visitors may also recognise Nathan Khan’s interpretation of Michelangelo’s The Creation of Adam (the fresco painting that forms part of the ceiling composition in the Sistine Chapel), which appears to have been influenced by William Blake and contemporary artist Glenn Brown; and Chiara Castagna, whose work echoes Jack Vettriano’s oeuvre, just as James Buttifant’s resembles Peter Smith’s heart “art”.

In for a penny, in for a pound. Some visitors may recognise the work of street artist Banksy, whose Di-Faced Tenners bearing the face of the late Princess Diana, will be exhibited in “pride of place”.

Admission is free and it is well worth anyone’s time. Free day tickets can also be booked at

Winners of the Oxford International Art Fair Awards will be announced on Sunday at 2pm. Prizes include free exhibition participation at Global Art Agency’s next art event.

Oxford International Art Fair 2015
Oxford Town Hall, St Aldates
Tomorrow to Sunday. Free