Art | Need To Now

The return of a colourful and ingenious art fair

The car boot sale where customers should think Tate, not tat

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The return of a colourful and ingenious art fair

June 17 2011
Vicki Reeve

If a car boot sale conjures up an image of old bangers in a field stacked high with secondhand baby clothes, unrecognisable engine parts and jigsaws with missing pieces, then you can’t have attended London’s annual Vauxhall Art Car Boot Fair, which takes place this year on Sunday June 19 – and will prove a fabulous surprise.

Think Tate rather than tat, since this colourful and ingenious fair, now in its seventh year, brings together competitively priced works by some of Britain’s best and coolest artists including Peter Blake, who will himself be attending with new pieces he has created especially. There will also be signed, limited-edition prints by Damien Hirst, stationery by Tracey Emin, works by 2010 Turner Prize nominee Angela de la Cruz, Jessica Voorsanger, Pam Hogg (first picture) and Gavin Turk (second picture), whose 2007 contribution – a collection of secondhand car boots signed by the artist – will take a lot of beating.

But it’s not all about acquisition – there will be plenty of entertainment (The Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club, a big fat gypsy fortune teller and “human snowshakers” by Lucy Parker with model Sarah Stockbridge) and art for guests to get stuck into (editors from Penguin Classics and Five Dials magazine enlist help to produce a new edition) plus food from St John’s Bread and Wine (including its famous ox-heart buns and doughnuts).

Don’t let the name of the Vauxhall Art Car Boot Fair fool you into taking a trip to south London – it’s actually at the Old Truman Brewery on Brick Lane, and the “Vauxhall” part comes from its Vauxhall Motors sponsor.