Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Ten Years, Ten Artists: Sam Lock

To celebrate ten years of the Brighton Art Fair, we have asked ten artists who are exhibiting this year, but who have also regularly exhibited with us in the past, to write about their experiences of the fair. What the fair means to them professionally, what they like about it, how it has changed and why they keep wanting to come back!
This is the first in the series...


My first showing at Brighton Art Fair was in 2005 and marked a significant step for me professionally.  It was a successful fair both commercially in terms of sales and also with regards to how my work was received and until this point I had concentrated on pop-up exhibitions and selling in shops.  The experience of exhibiting at the art fair and the step-up in professional standards and approach was a crucial confidence boost and encouraged me to have more ambition for my work.  It generated several exciting opportunities the year after, showing in several galleries and receiving lucrative commissions, most notably for a Yacht, a hotel in Switzerland and a villa in Saudi Arabia.  The contacts it generated continue today and are the backbone of my business.  I have been part of the art fair each year since and see it as the most important event in my year plan, a chance to invest in the cultural and creative health of the city where I live and work whilst consolidating existing business contacts.  Showing regularly has created some great friendships with fellow exhibitors but also with clients who have started to become collectors of my work and the many visitors who speak to me each year about how my work and career has developed.

The strength of the Brighton Art Fair is the direct relationship between artist and public, it has a personable atmosphere which is distinct from other art fairs dominated by galleries.  Although its sales are substantial, it is not all about dollars and cents and I have always felt that it has given me more than a boost in the bank balance.  Preparing for the show is the main focus of the summer for me, developing a new body of work to showcase and starting to articulate about its inspiration and aims so I can talk confidently to interested visitors.  It is always busy and talking to so many people about your work is affirming and helps you to gain new insights into your working practice and I am buzzing in the studio for weeks after the fair.  For me I use the Brighton Art Fair as a launchpad for the year's new projects and directions, feeding off the camaraderie with so many other artists and taking that confidence and energy back into the more solitary environment of the studio. 





1 comment:

Catherine Stephenson said...

I really enjoy your work. Good luck with thw fair.
You were a hugely inspirational tutor to learn from. During my time as a student of yours my mind and understanding of art were improved.