According to a very informative report by Sophia Furber in last week’s Estates Gazette (20/09/2014), the creative industries contribute £71.4 billion to Britain’s economy. Global sales of art and antiques grew by 8% to £38 billion in 2013 and London is well on the way to challenging New York’s supremacy as the capital of the art market. The property market is often the first to know about gallery openings and the same article reports that the New York based Gagosian gallery will be taking the space formally occupied by Savills in Grosvenor Hill to create a magnificent gallery. Phillips the auctioneers, are moving into their own building in Berkeley Square. As the number of Michelin restaurants continue to rise; the heart of Mayfair will become a mecca for art, restaurants and shopping. With this in mind, it is no wonder that London is full of luxury art fairs and exhibitions.
This week, Luxury Topping visited three of them. Decorex International, the exhibition for the interior design world, was full of wonderful fabrics to embellish and enhance interiors across the world. Now closed, it is still possible to see a number of the exhibitors at their showrooms in Design Centre Chelsea Harbour. The highlight of the show was the cabinets from Sally-Ann Maine-Tucker’s, Kensa Designs. On display was a selection of antique furniture that has been hand painted by a very talented artist. They are statement pieces, which show creativity at its very best. Kensa Designs takes painted furniture to a new stratospheric level that will be difficult to surpass.
Across town, the annual Goldsmith’s Fair (22nd – 5th October) kicked off its first week with a stellar collection of very gifted craftsmen and women who are substantially adding to the creative industries’ contribution to the British economy. Graham Stewarts’ honeycomb candleholders caught my eye, but such is the demand, they will have to be a personal commission in 2015. Jack Row creates elegant writing instruments working in silver and gold and incorporating precious stones: just what you need to sign the lease on your new gallery space.
Back in Berkeley Square for the 40th anniversary of LAPADA and the annual fair. You had to fight through the international crowd thronging the halls and cooing over the best of English cabinet making and modern British paintings. Jewellery undoubtedly stole the limelight. Jewellery historian, Vivienne Becker, contributed to LAPADA’s catalogue with an article that stated ‘antique jewellery has become a most powerful expression of individual style’.
Sandra Cronan had her usual well-curated collection of desirable pieces. However, it was the Lucas Rarities stand whose jewellery pieces had the ‘wow’ factor. Sam Loxton, the specialist jeweller behind the business, has written a book on the work of Belperron and Boivin,
two designers who created some of the finest jewels of the 20th century. Their stand showcased a range of highly desirable pieces of jewellery and objets d’arts.
The exhibitions do not cease with the close of September. Coming shortly for the first time to London will be the Art Apart Fair held at The Town Hall Hotel in Bethnal Green from 17th – 19th October. Having originated in Singapore, the Fair is an intimate way for visitors to enjoy the artwork and to simultaneously see what it would look like in a home setting. The stunning works of award-winning conceptual artist Kumari Nahappan will be a central attraction, enticing people from far and wide to attend the debut of this high profile Art Fair.