Frieze art week

Wow, that a week. It started with a birthday and finished with a birthday, with a whole lot of art in between. Frieze art week is always a fun time in London town, and this year was no exception.  Frieze is fun, but it's the fringe events that make it for me. Giving you a little lowdown on what I’ve been up to – things that are worth a visit, and noteworthy events that have passed.

Monday saw Lazarides Gallery launch of Hell’s Half Acre, an exhibition held in the spooky setting of the recently discovered tunnels under Waterloo train station , where artists including Polly Morgan, Zak Ové and Paul Insect all present their own interpretations of hell. Works varied from the horrific to the hilarious, and Zak Ové’s video of voodoo ceremonies seen through a mirrored lens, set to a dancehall sound track looked more like my idea of heaven than hell!  It’s just a shame that it wasn’t on for longer, and if anyone knows who created the stunning smoke film (below) which reflected into the still water then please will you let me know? Oh yeah, and it was also my birthday!

On Tuesday morning I attended a discussion at the Le Medidian hotel which explored the theme of travel and art, and whether in this digital age, it is still necessary to travel for art. The discussion was hosted by Louisa Buck, and included a panel of Jerome Sans, Mark Bell and Shezad Dawood. It bought about talk of re-exploring local art scenes, and recognising local talent; but ultimately the conclusion seemed to be - that in order to really engage with an art work you need to be around it, see it, feel it–to really react to it. I concur.

That afternoon we headed over to Kate Spade’s new pop-up shop in Covent Garden. The shop is designed like an apartment, full of bright colour blocking and antique wallpapered wardrobes.
Then on to the launch of the Marina Abramović retrospective at the Lisson Gallery. I’d never really seen her work en masse before, and it’s absolutely incredible. There was a mixture of old and new pieces, both videos and photography. Watching the video of her staring in to the eyes of a (very bored looking) donkey for 14 minutes with no dialogue or apparent action was as oddly captivating as her earlier, more shocking work. Although at times I had to laugh – though none of the art crowd in attendance seemed to approve! 

From way out West, to the depths of East; we then travelled to The Future Can Wait exhibition at Shoreditch Town Hall. The labyrinthine tunnels of the town hall’s basement were covered in mysterious works by a range of London trained artists. There was a good mixture of installations, paintings and film, and the unusual setting and dodgy lighting made it feel all the more exciting.

First thing on Thursday morning I went to view Lily Allen’s vintage store called Lucy in Disguise. I had a tour of the shop and spotted some lovely Alaïa. There’s soon to be a nail bar, hair salon, beauty bar and Grey Goose cocktail bar there too; so you need never leave. Oh and dresses are available to hire as well as buy. 

From there I went straight to the Museum of Everything in Primrose Hill (which was my favourite exhibition last year). This year they are exhibiting Sir Peter Blake’s personal collection of circus memorabilia, and it’s three stories of the fun of the fair! Comic taxidermy, Zippo’s Circus signs and Carter’s Steam Fair all feature- and I even got to sit next to Sir Peter whilst eating my croissant and he was being interviewed!

That evening was Parisian artist Nicolas Pol’s exhibition - Mother of Pouacrus, presented by Vladimir Restoin Roitfeld. Held in a giant dairy off Russell Square, the space houses Pol’s large scale paintings in bold brights and monochromes. Pol’s style heavily references street art, and graphic imagery and collage is overlaid onto the pieces. 

Then it was straight over to Hauser & Wirth’s giant new space on Savile Row, which is showing Louise Bourgeois: The Fabric Works. There are over 70 pieces on display; from soft swirling tapestries to geometric grids with 3D appliqué – all sourced from discarded clothes and household items. Four giant sculptures also dot the space.

We popped over the road to see the b Store boys who were hosting a little soiree. I fell in love with their autumn/winter 10 footwear collection- both the men’s and women’s. Definitely worth a look.

Oh yes, and somewhere in between all that I managed to make it to Frieze too. Then finally Friday, and my birthday party! We got there eventually.

Kate Spade pop-up shop runs 12 October  – 12 November
7 Henrietta Street
Covent Garden

Marina Abramović runs 13 October – 13 November
Lisson Gallery
52-54 Bell Street

Museum of Everything runs form 13 October - Christmas
Sharples Hall Street
Camden Town
NW1 8

Louise Bourgeois: The Fabric Works runs from 15 October – 18 December
Hauser & Wirth
23 Savile Row
W15 2ET

Vladimir Restoin Roitfeld presents “Mother of Pouacrus”, an exhibition by Nicolas Pol. Runs from 15 October – 5th November
The Dairy
7 Wakefield Street