Contemporary Art Fair at Stratford Town Hall

Claire Henley holding her painting of the Golden Cup Café, and Andy Walker’s digital art based on triangles.

Political satire, soulful landscapes and wearable art are all on offer as the Town Hall opens its doors to Contemporary Arts Fair Discover: Gather: Give (CAFDGG), releasing vast selections of art to swoon over. CAFDGG returns for the fifth year running from Saturday, Sunday(4th and 5th November), writes Ollie Sanderson.

Artworks on offer include: ceramics, glassware, jewellery, silversmithing, woodturning, illustration, painting, felt-work and decoupage. The fair offers a range of products that could help to secure that one missing item from your Christmas gift list. The Arts Fair contains work from a diverse range of local artists, some of whom haven even been inspired by the fair itself.

Artist Claire Henley explains: “I had a large, deep wooden panel that reminded me of a table top, so I decided to paint an image of the Golden Cup Café that is a feature of CAFDGG.”

Claire works from her studio in Stratford, and has been a professional artist for over 20 years; she paints large canvases, drawing inspiration from the sea as well as the countryside around her home in the town.

Ben Cowan’s work seeks beauty, while satirising a world full of flaws. He describes himself as “a passionate humanitarian relief worker who works as an artist whilst developing a burgeoning digital art and mixed media portfolio for exhibition art as well as merchandising.”

Ben’s work calls into focus issues that resonate with his strength of feeling for fairness and philanthropic duty. Andy Walker says he is fascinated by the interactions between colours and intrigued by the limitless variety of designs and effects achievable using only coloured triangles.

“Each piece consists of a ‘mosaic’ of digitally hand-drawn triangles, each painstakingly shaped and placed to realise depth and effect.” What visitors love about Andy’s work is that you can look at it quickly and it is a beautiful print, and it is only when you engage with the print do you realise how it is actually constructed.”

Tipperleyhill are two artists; Abi Tippetts and Roz Berkeley-Hill who work together to create paintings on canvas and limited edition giclée prints. Abi and Roz create something wholly new and original together, by improvising on one canvas in mixed media including oils, inks, acrylics, watercolour pencil and even collage.

“Our passion is to paint contemporary landscapes and abstract florals together and nicknaming them as our ‘art jam’ sessions.”

Speaking of the weekend Judith Layhe-Cook, CAFDGG’s curator says: “I am passionate about bringing together the best regional and local artists to exhibit their work in the historic town hall. Art is for everyone and is a part of everyone’s life. At CAFDGG we have something to interest, inspire and fall in love with for everyone.”

The Arts Fair is open from 10.30am to 5pm on Saturday, 3rd November, and until 4pm on the Sunday. The Golden Cup Café is open throughout the weekend with coffee by Monsoon Estates Roastery, tea, cakes by Knead It! Bakery all served on a collection of golden vintage china. To find out more information visit