Art Car Boot Fair, Brick Lane

Alice Ralph

Exhausted after seeing Bob Dylan the night before (thought I’d drop that in there), I trundled off to Brick Lane last Sunday morning to catch the famous Vauxhall Art Car Boot Fair, just round the corner from the Truman Brewery. Even at just an hour after opening, the queue went around the block and we were nodded in by door-men. As a connoisseur of carboot sales, I can confirm that this was no ordinary bring’n’buy.

First up was Bob and Roberta Smith selling their weird and wonderful signs, under the guise of “The Bob Shop”:

The Bob Shop

Who is Bob Smith? D&AD 2010. from Immprint ltd on Vimeo

There were a lot of the sort of things that you might expect from a “fair” (perhaps not a carboot), including a raffle:

…not quite falling into the “expected” category was Gavin Turk signing eggs:

…his head looks a bit like an egg. Just saying.

Pretty Taxing

I particularly loved what these girls were doing (I didn’t get their names, anybody know?) – aside from the adorable letterpress stationery on sale, they were also typing Mills & Boon-inspired mini stories onto little cards, ie. “Naughty Notes”… while you wait! I like to think that they were made up on the spot but I can’t be sure:

Naughty Notes

Then quite excitingly I got to have a milk-bottle signed by Holly Freeman, who had driven her piece, ‘Afloat‘, all the way from Tooting at 15mph. This was definitely one of my favourite stalls at the sale – funny, tongue-in-cheek, affordable, personal and very friendly!

Holly Freeman - Afloat

I got a neon pink milk bottle, which Holly kindly signed for me:

Holly Freeman - Afloat

Holly Freeman - Afloat

Cassart! and Oliver Gut Watkins were running an Art Improvement Clinic, where students from RCA or St Martins would ‘improve’ your artwork in need of love…

Art Improvement Clinic

Penguin were running a cute stall where you could buy these amazing deck-chairs (<<< note to anybody who ever wants to buy me an amazing gift) and also some classic novels with blank covers so you could design your own, for just £1! I bought The Great Gatsby and Alice In Wonderland to decorate myself. Penguin have also got some bands to decorate the covers, with varying results

Penguin Classics

Oh and then there were these nutters…

The Spanking Post

This was a group of artists called Bert Industries who were spanking volunteers with some terrifying looking padded arms. Needless to say, I didn’t volunteer (but I did film it for Wired Canvas blog readers’ viewing pleasure):

Spanking at the London Art Car Boot Fair from Wired Canvas on Vimeo

Live East, Die Young

Finally, The Girls (Andrea Blood and Zoe Sinclair) were there with Posted – a temporary exhibition celebrating post and the dying art of letter-writing. This is something that I am personally a total geek over as a serial stationery-nerd, letter-writer and Swap-botter, so I loved this stall:

The Girls

The Girls

I bought myself a lovely new commemorative royal Oyster card holder (with The Girls as Bea & Eugenie / Wills & Harry):

The Girls - Oyster Card Holder

…genius! There was loads more going on that I didn’t get round to photographing but at that point the heavens opened so we legged it to the pub. All in all, definitely worth a visit in 2012!

3 Responses to Art Car Boot Fair, Brick Lane

  1. Zoe Sinclair says:

    Thanks for stopping by, Alice!

  2. Hi, after reading this remarkable piece of writing i am as
    well glad to share my familiarity here with mates.

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About Alice Ralph

Alice worked for a giant printing company and learnt all the technical stuff, then for a lovely art gallery where she learnt all the creative stuff. Then finally she worked for Wired Canvas where she mostly eats Jaffa Cakes and ignores Rob. Inexplicably (despite otherwise good taste in music) she has an obsessive love of the band Hanson. Google+