A trip to the seaside: Vauxhall Art Car Boot Fair sets up shop in Margate
Embracing its cultural history as former home to artists Tracey Emin and JMW Turner, the Kentish seaside town of Margate has, in recent years, been busy establishing itself as an artistic hub, an influx of young creatives and artisans exponentially growing an increasingly lauded arts scene. Further strengthening the town’s status as England’s unlikely new cultural capital, this August bank holiday the Vauxhall Art Car Boot Fair will set up shop at the Turner Contemporary for the first time.
The first Vauxhall Art Car Boot Fair was organised by Karen Ashton in 2004, in an attempt to reintroduce a little summer sun and frivolity into London’s increasingly commercial art scene. Combining a car boot sale with an art fair, the event became an annual happening, where artists let their hair down, creating special editions for purchase and engaging directly with the public. Bringing the eclectic fair to Margate provides art lovers, day trippers and holidaymakers alike with (weather allowing) a balmy afternoon at the seaside.
This year, the fair boasts a line-up of over 70 artists – both established and up-and-coming – as well as highlights from the original London event. Artists and photographers like Tracy Emin, Rankin, Sir Peter Blake and Dougie Wallace are joined by lesser known local names, many participating in the event thanks to Arts Council grants. This year’s edition pieces include the irreverent English Magic Remix Yacht ’identification guide’, by Jeremy Deller and Fraser Muggeridge, Polly Morgan’s amusingly macabre taxidermy piece Some Way Around It, and Mat Collishaw’s mesmerising and unnerving BLOWBACK.
The fair will have something on offer for everyone, art-minded or not. Event partner Vauxhall Motors is displaying a heritage collection of vintage cars. Visitors are encouraged to enter their dogs in a show along the promenade or in a photo shoot in a classic Vauxhall Viva, both of them in close proximity to the boot sale itself. Musical acts, cabaret, drag shows, a knit swimsuit fashion parade and a NATO camper van turned pin-hole camera complete the itinerary for an unmissable August bank holiday.