Arty bargains from famous car boots


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The Independent Culture

Forget highbrow galleries, auction houses and polite wine-sipping private views, today Britain's leading artists will be flogging their wares from their car boots.

Sir Peter Blake, Tracey Emin, Mat Collishaw, Jessica Albarn and taxidermist Polly Morgan will be among the artists selling at The Vauxhall Art Car Boot Fair, at the Truman Brewery on Brick Lane, east London.

The fair was launched in 2004 as a reaction to "the art world taking itself too seriously". Founder Karen Ashton said: "It is a chance to bring artists into direct contact with the public, and offer their work to a broader audience. It celebrates the frivolity and fun of art – with a slightly eccentric atmosphere."

The majority of works sell from between £1 and £500. Last year, fans queued overnight for bargains.

There is also a Handbag Disco, with bags donated by designer Victoria Beckham, actress Tilda Swinton, singer Alesha Dixon, model Daisy Lowe, author Sophie Dahl and artist Natasha Law. There will be stalls with party games and people selling compliments for £5, and others offering emotional baggage.

The Independent on Sunday has had a sneaky advance look inside some of the artists' car boots.

Sir Peter Blake

I'm selling a patriotic, Jubilee, Queen-inspired small souvenir limited-edition print. I am a real bargain hunter, always looking for objects for my work – I came across beautiful white enamelled letters once being sold for £1 each.

Jessica Albarn

I have teamed up with the Bumble Bee Conservation Trust, and shall be selling limited-edition bee prints with wildflower seeds, with proceeds going to the trust. We all need to do what we can to encourage their survival.

'The Girls' (Zoe Sinclair & Andrea Blood)

We enter a trance-like state at boot fairs as, hawk-like, we hunt for the shiny, the stinking and the strange. We're devoted bargain hunters: it's as close as we get to an organised religion. The sale epitomises the phrase "art for all" – there's no better way to spend just three English pounds.

Mat Collishaw

I like the chaotic structure: it's a primitive pleasure, the opposite experience of the ordered supermarket. I'll be selling limited-edition prints of insects I have squashed and then manipulated.

Patrick Brill (better known as Bob and Roberta Smith)

I will be selling slogans advocating art to the Government, things like "Art Makes Children Powerful". I wrote a letter to Michael Gove, the Education Secretary, telling him what he was doing to art in schools was quite wrong. So many people wrote to him, I thought I would take slogans to sell at the fair.

Helen Hayward From 'Turps Banana'

I'll be selling new prints by Harland Millar and Chantal Joffe. We produce prints to raise money for Turps Banana, a journal written by painters about painting. The car boot is the summer art event. We're privileged to be part of the party.

Polly Morgan

I look for anything I can use in my work at car boot fairs and auctions: it's the perfect place to get something so old it has become unique. I rarely buy anything full price. If I do, I feel I've failed. I'll be selling a limited-edition taxidermy take on the furry dice designed to hang from a car wing mirror.

Tracey Emin

I suffer from insomnia and sit in bed doing iPad drawings, which have a different feel to my other work, and I thought it would be nice to get them out into the world.