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The debut Cave Art Fair moves among us tomorrow. A thrilling artist-led celebration of the best in contemporary art. Within, you’ll discover 45 of the UK’s most exciting unrepresented artists, with works available from £10 – £3000. But more than that, you’ll be buying straight from the creator. No middle man. No commission. “Painting, drawing, sculpture and film will exist alongside performative encounters, secret talks and urban shamanic rituals…” they tell us…

Devised by Flis Mitchell and Kevin Hunt (artists and curators based at Vauxhall’s excellent Royal Standard in Liverpool, ex stomping ground of the Double Negative’s Laura Robertson) Cave exisits to offer a much-needed commercial platform for emerging and unrepresented artists alongside the big-guns and the independents of this year’s Biennial, something that has never happened before. And we salute it. We caught up with the duo ahead of tomorrow’s launch.

How does the selection process work?

The selection process, for choosing artists was rather long: while developing ideas for CAVE we conducted a feasibility study; and as part of that we sent out questionnaires to independent artist led spaces and organisations across the UK; like The Royal Standard (here in Liverpool) where we’re both based.

We questioned them about lots of things including art sales, their regional art market and also asked them to recommend artists from their area that were talented but unrepresented. We based further research on their recommendations and then made a short list and began to discuss ideas with artists. We’re really happy with our final 45, we feel they display some of the best of unrepresented talent from the UK.

How good are we at buying art in Liverpool?

We think that people in Liverpool are good at culture, interested in music, writing, poetry and all sorts of art, and always happy and confident about sharing their opinions with you! That’s why we feel confident about putting on a really ambitious contemporary art fair, we feel that you can’t patronise the people in Liverpool, you have to offer them the best you can.

Tell us how to buy art. We’re crap.

Buying art is as simple as buying music. We base our choices on what we like and what we can afford. We’d advise taking a look at conservation issues- will it last? Can you take care of it? We never buy for investment as we simply can’t afford to, we buy for sheer pleasure, just as would with a new book or CD. And that’s the best art buying advice ever, make sure your purchase pleases you.

We think that people have lots of questions that they’d like to ask artists, but maybe they don’t get the chance, and CAVE is a great opportunity to have those conversations about art with actual artists; what is art? why is it important? Is that art?

At CAVE we believe that everyone can own and collect art they love. There doesn’t need to be any mystery about this; after all if you have any art in your house at all, from framed reproductions to favourite ornaments then you are already an art collector and CAVE just gives you the opportunity to buy and see original art from new and exciting artists. Our aim is to help Liverpool become a city where people feel as much pride and ownership about contemporary art as they do about football.

So, what can we expect? Should we be a bit scared?

We decided to work with unrepresented artists to create a fresh new show; we wanted to be playful and inclusive. The quality of the work is outstanding, but you might not know the artists names (yet!) however with helpful volunteers and a great atmosphere CAVE will be a place where everyone feels welcomed, especially those who might not have been to an art fair before.

We’ve got drawing, painting, sculpture, film, installation, performances, secret talks, and on the opening night we are serving cocktails and hosting rather special top secret project from artist collective 70/30.

Everyone should come! (and if they’re nervous we’ll personally take them by hand and show them around! )

Cave Art Fair
13-16 September
Baltic Creative Campus
Jamaica Street
Liverpool

Main pic: Nicki McCubbing, I’m a Touched Up Freak On a Winning Streak
Feature pic: Jason Thompson, From Flight (Dellschau)

  • Sally

    Love your arts coverage Seven streets. Much more fun to read than the Double Negatives! oops 😉

  • Andy J

    Went along to this tonight with the intention of buying some art. Unfortunately nothing caught my eye plus from what I read above I thought I would be able to readily meet some of the artists. As far as I could see none were by their artworks making themselves available to chat to. There were some friendly people there associated with the venture but where were the artists?

  • Kevin Hunt

    Hello Andy, apologies we only just saw you’re comment here. As with most opening nights, the evening was hectic and a celebratory experience. I can assure you over half of the artists were there that evening but as we were full to capacity with visitors and with lots of performances happening over a short period of time, CAVE may have felt overpopulated. I hope you were able to make it along later that weekend and experience CAVE at a less hectic time, and if not please do email us at CAVEartfair@gmail.com and we will be more than happy to continue to chat with you and put you in touch with any of the artists you may be interested in speaking with…

    Best wishes

    Kevin