Art Car Boot Fair

Next Sunday (30th August) brings a first for Margate - the Art Car Boot Fair is coming to town! Now this is exciting because 1. I love art and 2. I ruddy love a good boot fair.

I spoke to the event's creator, Karen Ashton, about what is in store for Margate...

Can you tell us a bit about the Art Car Boot Fair?
The Art Car Boot Fair derives, in spirit, from energised, artist led one-day events held in the 90’s such as The Fete Worse than Death and Gavin Turk’s Articultural Shows. When we launched the Art Car Boot Fair it was a time of increased commercialisation of the London art scene and we wanted to bring back a place where the artists could let their hair down in terms of what they produced and how they sold it – direct from their car boots. Putting this whole set up into a car park and providing ecelectic and slightly eccentric entertainments and food and drink makes it an easy and fun way to buy and engage with art – as time has gone by the Art Car Boot Fair has also become a place where the savvy buyer can get some unbelievably good bargains!

Why Margate?
Last year we decided to take the main format of the London event outside of the capital and we linked up with the opening weekends of both the Liverpool Biennial and the Folkestone Triennial. We were so encouraged by the success of both these smaller events and the opportunity it gave us to hook up with new artists and artist groups from both areas, that we were planning one or two similar extra events this year when we received an email from Sam Lloyd at Turner Contemporary inviting us to put on the event there. Within a few days we had visited Turner Contemporary and Margate and were instantly sold on the idea. With every successive visit we have just been more and more impressed with the pure vibrancy of the place and the people we have come across – it's almost like a pioneering spirit running through the town!

What can people expect at this one?
This is going to be such a lot of fun! We have an amazing artist line-up and some incredible entertainment too! We’re delighted that Tracey Emin is joining us and personally holding a charity raffle (£1 a ticket) for an artists proof of her famous etching ‘The Golden Mile’ based on Margate’s seafront, plus two works made especially for the day. There are over 100 artists taking part, around half live and/or work in Margate and the surrounding area and lots of our favourites from our London event and we’ve got Vic Reeves too! There’ll also be human jukeboxes, drag queens, strange promenades, chances to make your own art, and a dog show! (All well behaved dogs are welcome on leads).  Plus a three-hour long cabaret presented by Richard Strange of Cabaret Futura! It’s going to be like an intimate, very eclectic festival with serious art bargains to boot! 


I'm really excited for this event; it's a fantastic way to keep art accessible to all and this reflects the ethos of Turner Contemporary, which has proven so successful for Margate and its community. I think it links in well with the current show at the gallery - Grayson Perry's 'Provincial Punk', which I blogged about here. As I mention in the post, Grayson is the kind of artist that anyone could get on board with; he's a familiar face who connects with the public and has a very down to earth approach to art, surely a perfect fit with an everyday activity like going to a boot fair. The opportunity to buy from the artists themselves and having Margate regulars like Tracey Emin and Vic Reeves showing their support so directly will make this unique experience a fascinating event for the town.

See the full list of artists participating here.

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