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Oxford International Art Fair

Oxford Town Hall, 22-24 January 2021

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One of the UK’s most successful and exciting art events, Oxford International Art Fair offers artists and galleries the opportunity to show their work and sell commission-free to an audience of over 10,000 visitors attending over three days. In January the Town Hall will host paintings, sculptures, illustrations, photographs, ceramics, jewellery and more, in an event expertly curated by award-winning art entrepreneur Joëlle Dinnage. We caught up with a handful of the talent taking part…

Samantha Ball

How have you been occupying yourself creatively during lockdown?

Lockdown has given time to create a colouring book and also create greeting cards and other pieces that I sell on my Etsy page, SamanthasSketchShop.

What’s your relationship to Oxford International Art Fair?

I have exhibited with them before and it has brought positive experiences for me and my work. Oxford International Art Fair has kept in touch to ensure the show can continue and included artists in their planning process.

How much has Oxford informed your work?

I studied fine art at Oxford Brookes University and so returning to exhibit would be a very exciting way to reflect when I moved into Oxford to study in 2011. This will show how my artwork has evolved in this last decade.

What kind of art do you find the most humorous?

When an image makes you laugh, I find this an incredible talent, which is why I think satirical art is the most humorous. Gerald Scarfe is my favourite illustrator of this kind because I love how he can illustrate personality.

This issue we mark Father’s Day – what’s your favourite artistic representation of fatherhood?

Norman Rockwell's painting ‘The Runaway’ (1958) is based on a runaway boy, but my first thought is how the male figure seated next to him gives a sense of comfort which I think really depicts a feeling of fatherhood.

What else is on your artistic agenda?

To have my illustrations featured in more publications and to improve my drawing skills.

Describe your work in three words.

Traditional, fantasy, detailed.


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Joe Tickle

Whose virtual presence are you a little bit obsessed with right now?

I’m following a friend who recreates famous film moments out of Lego.

What’s your relationship to Oxford International Art Fair?

I’ve exhibited at the art fair twice in the past. Several of my works are of Oxford scenes, so it’s a natural place for me to display and sell my work. It’s also exciting to see international artwork on display.

What will you be bringing to next year’s incarnation?

Since I last came, I have produced a number of new drawings of several cities. I recently finished a drawing of Keble College that was the single longest project I ever worked on, due to the time it took to colour every brick individually, but the result speaks for itself. I have also produced new versions of my drawings of the Sheldonian and of Balliol College.

What kind of art do you find the most humorous?

When I lived in Bath, there was a project where they put a lot of statues of pigs around the city for a few months, all painted in different patterns.

Describe your work in three words.

Lots of fun.

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Momo Meng


How have you been occupying yourself creatively during lockdown?

I’ve been creating new works, reading books, learning new art techniques, helping people through donations and promoting communication between China and the rest of the world on social media.

In which ways has lockdown helped or hindered you as an artist?

As a Chinese artist, this pandemic has completely changed my perspective of our world. All experience helps an artist to develop or establish their own style and lockdown will definitely have a great influence on my future works.

Whose virtual presence are you a little bit obsessed with right now?

CGTN, Nathan Rich, Yan Talk.

What’s your relationship to Oxford International Art Fair?

This will be the first time I join the Oxford International Art Fair and I am excited to take part. I have worked with their team before at the 2019 Amsterdam International Art Fair so I know it will be another great event.

What will you be bringing to next year’s incarnation?

Two major projects: ‘The Trilogy of Society’ series and ‘Shadow Self’ series.

What kind of art do you find the most humorous?

Jean-Jacques Sempé. His works are exquisite, naughty and humorous.

What’s your favourite artistic representation of fatherhood?

An essay, ‘Retreating Figure’ written by Zhu Ziqing and a work from myself, ‘Weathering’. In ‘Weathering’, I want to express: Father, he’s always been the rock of my life, but he’s also a normal human being. As he ages, he would have shaky hands, he would feel scared, and he would also shed tears. Fatherhood, same as parenthood, should be bidirectional. Take good care of your aging parents the same way they took care of you when you were young.

What else is on your artistic agenda?

Continue creating new illustration works for my art projects plus finishing a set of GIFs for social media.

Describe your work in three words.

Imaginative, vibrant, aesthetic.

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John Parker

How have you been occupying yourself creatively during lockdown?

I have been fortunate to be able to cycle to my studio (as part of my exercise allowance) and spend a little time alone there. The studio is in a very picturesque setting on the Thornham Estate in Suffolk, surrounded completely by ancient broadleaf woodlands. I also run an art group of around 15 members. Each week we begin the class with a talk on an artist, style or technique. During the lockdown we have continued these talks online via my website. Helene Schjerfbeck is one artist we have looked at recently and I am so totally blown away by her ‘ahead of her times’ self-portraits. So full of feelings and life.

In which ways has lockdown helped and hindered you as an artist?

Initially the lockdown stopped me dead in my tracks, creatively speaking. Art fairs and exhibitions I had planned for 2020 had been cancelled and I saw no point in continuing to produce work. But, as time wore on I began to consider life after lockdown, and I thought about ways in which the pandemic would change the world we have become so accustomed to and ways that I could allow this situation to develop artistically.

What’s your favourite artistic representation of fatherhood?

I have always been a great admirer of the old masters, their techniques and modern approaches. One painting I have always loved is by John Constable, his wife Maria and two of their children are subjects of a small piece painted on the reverse of another painting. Produced rapidly with energy and fabulous impressionistic brushwork, full of vigour and passion. It’s purely my imagination but I like to think that while he worked on a large canvas his wife and children were in his studio and he suddenly had an urge to capture the moment.

What else is on your artistic agenda?

I am planning a ‘recollective’ for 2021.

Describe your work in three words.

Contemporary, classical, atmospheric.

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Kendra Troschel

In which ways has lockdown helped and hindered you as an artist?

As a scientist at the University of Oxford, I am still working (remotely) during the day. However, not needing to commute into work has freed up an additional three-four hours every day, which I have used for creative explorations. My latest exploration has been into the world of pop art. However, not being able to go out has deprived me of inspiration from nature.

Whose virtual presence are you a little bit obsessed with right now?

New York based artist Yuko Shimizu.

What’s your relationship to Oxford International Art Fair?

I am excited to be participating as an artist at the Oxford International Art Fair. I learnt of the fair through the Global Art Agency (the organisers), with whom I am also participating in the Tokyo International Art Fair.

What will you be bringing to next year’s incarnation?

I am currently working on a series that focuses on female characters from great works of literature. I would like to look at these women once more through a modern lens. How much has changed? How much is the same?

How much has Oxford informed your work?

Oxford is a beautiful city full of literature, art and history, all things that inspire me. I think being in academia for so long has made me quite partial to university cities.

What kind of art do you find the most humorous?

I am probably revealing my age too much here, but I would have to say internet memes. While often crude and low-effort, I find that they are often strangely poignant. I also find it fascinating that they have become such a popular canvas, and in a very real sense, a legitimate (albeit hilariously strange) form of artistic expression.

What’s your favourite artistic representation of fatherhood?

A 1953 sketch by Pablo Picasso of his partner, Françoise Gilot, and their children. You can see the love he has. He isn’t depicted in the image but there is a sort of metafiction insertion.

What else are you working on?

When I am not working on paintings, I am working on writing a novel about my great-great-grandmother’s life; it’s an incredibly interesting story, and one I am dying to share.

Describe your work in three words.

Feminism, romanticism, contemporary.

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The Oxford International Art Fair 6th edition is now open for applications and is inviting artists and galleries from across the country to apply to take part when the event returns to the city next January. Those who sign up for the event before 1 July 2020 can also take advantage of a special 10% early bird discount oxfordinternationalartfair.com

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