Ireland’s biggest textile show swamped amid needlecraft boom

The Knitting & Stitching Show Dublin reported a 3% rise in visitor numbers year on year after welcoming thousands through its doors last month.

Held at the Royal Dublin Society’s Simmonscourt venue, the 24th incarnation of the annual textiles show attracted 12,588 visitors across four days, and sold more tickets for the 150 workshops on offer than ever before.

Exhibitors thrilled with the show’s thronging crowds rushed to secure their place at next year’s show, pushing the rebook rate up by 10% from last year to an incredible 40%.

The news comes after market research firm Mintel reported a 12% rise in women doing some sort of needlecraft as a hobby in the last two years. Results from the same survey showed 17% of men aged 16-24, and a fifth of women aged below 45, were keen to try knitting or stitching as a pastime.   

Perhaps the surge in needlecraft’s popularity amongst hobbyists stems from the proven therapeutic benefits associated with the repetitive movements necessary to knit, sew or crochet. A hands-on hobby which naturally creates a state of mindfulness and produces a physically tangible product, needlecraft offers a welcome antidote to the dully glowing virtual reality of screen-filled daily life and is a marvellous outlet for creativity.

No matter what first inspired them to pick up a needle, visitors to The Knitting & Stitching Show were able source top quality supplies including knitting yarn and accessories, fabric, sewing machines and embroidery threads in between attending a talks and workshops and experiencing the show’s many interactive features.

A big draw for visitors to the show was the wide variety and eye-widening quality of work on display in the professionally curated galleries, one of which was dedicated to showcasing the work of talented Irish textiles graduates.

Adding a touch of celebrity glamour to the event was The Great British Sewing Bee’s Angeline Murphy who presented two daily sessions at the show. Irish celebrity stylist and lifestyle blogger Courtney Smith was in attendance along with her lifestyle blogger mother Hilda Smith, who described the show as “a riot of colour, full of fabrics, wools, patterns, colourful ribbons and all kinds of craftsy bits and pieces”.    

New show feature The Creative Living theatre, which offered free tip-packed demonstrations by the textile industry’s leading experts, was an instant hit. A particular highlight from the theatre’s programme was a screening of the all nude, all knitted award-winning Nudinuts film Tickled Pink followed by a Q&A session with the film’s creator Sarah Simi.

Albina McLaughlin, Knitwear Designer, said: “Our booth at the Knitting and Stitching Show was like a yarn shop on steroids: The flow of visitors was unending! I’ll be honest: It was an intense three days. But I genuinely enjoyed it.”

Hilda Smith, lifestyle blogger, said: There are over 150 specialist stalls: the place is a riot of colour, full of fabrics, wools, patterns, colourful ribbons and all kinds of craftsy bits and pieces, so there is plenty of shopping to be done. The seasoned professionals had brought along large bags, some were full-on cases with wheels to carry home all the goodies.

“Embroidery is a major fashion trend and I fancied learning how to tackle it. But, unfortunately, we had not reckoned on it being so popular and the classes we wanted to do were booked out.” 

For more information visit


Telephone: +44 (0)20 7688 6833
Twitter: @knitnstitchshow
Facebook: /knittingandstitchingshows
Instagram: /theknittingandstitchingshows


Exhibitors impressed with Cruise Show’s new look and feel

A vibrant and refreshed Cruise Show greeted visitors to The NEC, Birmingham in September.

Relaunched by Upper Street Events with a new colour scheme, and several brand new features, the elegantly arranged show was a hit with both exhibitors and attendees alike.

Good looking and informative, the two-day free to attend event featured over 24 hours’ worth of talks plus a stunning gallery of photographs by travel photographer Samson Reddyhoff.

The ever popular Meet the Cruise Lines theatre bustled with guests curious to hear first-hand about life on board ship, whilst the Ask the Experts stage sizzled with lively discussions of cruising’s hottest topics by a rotating panel of industry experts, led by well-known travel journalists Jonathan Beaumont and Sara Macefield.

Dr John Mason MBE describing the wonders of the Northern Lights to a rapt audience.

New feature the Destinations Pavilion was a resounding success with visitors thronging the stage to hear about the world’s most fascinating locations, from the virtually untouched to the utterly unmissable. The most popular presentation by far was delivered by renowned astronomer Dr John Mason MBE, who spoke to an enraptured audience about the Northern Lights.

Dr Mason said: “I am so pleased that my talk was so well received and that there was such a good crowd gathered around.”

Supported by the UK’s leading travel PR agency Hills Balfour for the first time in its nine-year history, the new look Cruise Show has garnered considerable press coverage, whilst simultaneously strengthening its presence and reach online.

Word of the show certainly spread, with attendance totalling 6,500. The impact of a significant investment in marketing was tangible, with 87% visitors being new to the show, and 24% being new to cruise. The event also attracted a large number of high net worth individuals.

An investment in the digital element of the show bore fruit with the launch of an inspirational new website featuring an entertaining blog about all things cruise, and the creation of a dedicated Cruise Show App designed to help visitors navigate the show.

The next Cruise Show will take place at London’s Olympia on February 17th to 18th 2018.

Thiago Alves, Event Director at Cruise Show said:We are very pleased with the results of our NEC show. We were able to deliver a high quality show with inspirational talks, great cruise deals and the unique opportunity to learn all there is to know about cruise holidays.  

“As an event organiser it’s extremely rewarding to see our clients having a great show, and to receive so many positive comments about the look and feel of the show and the quality of visitors coming through. The extra investment into our marketing campaign, re-branding and show features really paid off.”

Stephen Winter, International Sales Director at Ponant said:I was pleasantly surprised by the large attendance at the show by lots of experienced cruisers but also by many curious new comers; an impressive turn out.”

Karen Lentz, International Sales Manager at Hapag-Lloyd said: “Our overall feedback is very positive.  The show went much better for us than in previous years. Especially on the Saturday the quality as well as the quantity of the people was very good. We had quite a few conversations with high net-worth individuals. On Sunday we had the impression that the quantity of affluent cruisers who visited the show slightly reduced.

“We appreciated the change of the colors regarding the carpets as well as the shell scheme stand itself. It looks much better than before.  Finally we think that your team looked after us very well during the show.”

Katie Leigh, UK Inside Sales Executive, Hurtigruten said: We were extremely pleased with the quality of visitor this year, despite initially being worried as the tickets were for free, in contrast to previous years. Our stand was busy throughout the weekend and our talks were also very well received, meaning we got good brand coverage.”

Craig Upshall, Business Development Manager at Rocky Mountaineer said:  “The quality of the audience was excellent and well within our target demographic. It turned out to be our best return on investment for a consumer show to date at Birmingham.  See you next year!”

Debbie Marshall, Silver Travel Advisor, described the show as “a very good opportunity to connect with our target audience, meeting both existing and new members, as well as participating in the theatre talks. We have already confirmed our stand for 2018”.

Andrew Schweitzer, Regional Sales Manager at Viking said: “What a fantastic show! The footfall was brilliant, which found us constantly busy over the whole weekend. We found the people coming through the doors to be very high quality and this resulted in a very successful show for us.

“Overall, we found the show to be extremely well organised and we’re already looking forward to next year!”

Neil Barclay, Head of Sales at Viking said: “We were delighted with the footfall, and the overall response from new-to-cruise and seasoned cruisers was fantastic. The show is a great opportunity to meet past guests and promote new cruise and ship offerings.”

For more information visit

Press Enquiries


Telephone: +44 (0)20 7593 1700

Twitter: @cruiseshow



Cycling stars dazzle at UK’s biggest bike show

From big name guests, thrilling test rides and sport-changing product launches to crit races and quarter pipe shows, the 2017 Cycle Show more than lived up to its reputation as the nation’s greatest bike show.

The star-studded show – which saw record-breaking attendance on the Saturday alone – took place from 22nd – 24th September at its regular home, The NEC Birmingham, for the sixteenth year running, attracting just under 30,000 visitors.

Six-time Olympic gold medallist Jason Kenny, five-time Grand Tour winner Vincenzo ‘The Shark’ Nibali, and joint holder for most Tour de France wins Eddy Merckx wowed the crowds with vibrant first-hand tales of their most memorable moments on two wheels. However, Saturday’s massive attendance may have been due in part to the launch of the show’s brand new elite racing feature the Pirelli Supercrit.

Show-goers were treated to a sneak preview of a dazzling array of next season’s new bikes, including Canyon’s Kraftwerk Ultimate CF SLX 9.0, a collaboration between the bike brand and the esteemed electronic group to produce 21 limited edition bikes; the Condor Leggero SL Disc, one of the bike brand’s first carbon road race disc models; Pinarello’s Dogma F10, the bike that took Chris Froome to his Vuelta a España victory, and Mondraker’s new 2018 mountain bike range including the Wolf and Wildcat models.

Gear and gadget fans were in their element as displays from the likes of Campagnolo, Garmin, Giro, KASK, Knog, Pirelli, Primal Europe, Schwalbe, Wattbike and ZIPP gave them access to the latest cycling accessories, innovations, apparel and components .

Electric bikes once again played a big part at The Cycle Show, with the Shimano-STEPS e-bike village offering test rides on over 100 of the latest e-bike models, and Bosch’s impressive indoor e-MTB track, which brought the outdoors indoors with test-rides taking place over the course of the show.

The Cycle Show returns to The NEC next year and will take place from 28th – 30th September.

Will Miles, Velobrands’ Managing Director, said: “We’ve been really pleased with the footfall. Everyone was happy and well engaged. It’s our first time at the show and the trade day was a lot busier than we had expected so it’s been great for us. The show has exceeded our expectations.”

Steve Chapman, Events and PR Manager at Islabikes, said:The show has been great. As we are a direct to consumer business – we are on the road a lot of the time – so the show gives us a great opportunity to chat with or  customers and have them see the bikes in the flesh. It’s been great to see the kids testing the bikes on our demo track; we are the pioneers of the children’s bike industry and we’ve really seen an uplift in kids’ taking up all aspects of cycling over the past few years.”

Ruth Schofield, Head of Trade Marketing and Events at Madison and Sportline, said: “The Cycle Show is a regular fixture in our events calendar and this year I think we have our biggest presence to date. After last year’s success we have returned with our bike brands, Genesis, Ridley, Saracen and Ridgeback. Sponsoring the E-Bike village with Shimano STEPS looks great and we’ve introduced the children’s Test Track with Ridgeback Kids. We have a couple of new brands like Mars and Cycliq which have gone down a storm too. The show really does afford us the opportunity to try out lots of different things and get great feedback from thousands of well-informed consumers. Looking forward to next year!”

For more information visit


Telephone: +44 (0)20 7288 6733
Twitter: @CycleShow

Thousands Flock to The Festival of Quilts

The NEC was struck with a lightning bolt of creativity in August as the annual Festival of Quilts sprung to life in all its colourful glory.

Attracting over 24k visitors, the 15th incarnation of this annual event was a celebration of what can be achieved when imagination and craftsmanship ditch the weekly date night and get serious with each other.

Opened by Great British Sewing Bee’s Stuart Hillard, the 2017 Festival of Quilts featured over 1,000 quilts, including a record-breaking 750 competition quilts submitted under 17 categories.

With galleries packed with everything from traditional quilts to boundary-pushing wearable quilt art, and a staggering £28,700 in prize money to be won, it is easy to see how the festival has blossomed into Europe’s largest patchwork and quilting event.

The breath-taking beauty of the many artfully wrought pieces was matched only by the breadth and variety of stories which inspired them.  Best in Show and overall winner was Philippa Naylor for her intricately produced miniature quilt Measure for Measure, which will be displayed in the Textile Galleries at The Knitting & Stitching Show in London’s Alexandra Palace this October and Harrogate in November.

The 2017 Festival of Quilts featured work by internationally acclaimed artists Diana Harrison, Bonnie Smith, and Frydl Kumiko, and by artistic collectives including Art Quilt Fusion, the European Quilt Association and SAQA.

Ever keen to take a hands-on approach to quilting, and to develop this historically significant art-form, this year’s event boasted 350 textile workshops, talks, lectures and demonstrations from the scene’s top needle-smiths.

Alongside classic ingredients such as the galleries, workshops, hundreds of specialist patchwork and quilting stalls, and the Creative Textiles Studio, interwoven into this year’s show was a rich programme of social events including a Quilting Quiz, Designer Supper with artists Els van Baarle and Cherilyn Martin, a visit to The Royal Shakespeare’s Company production of Julius Caesar, and the show’s grand finale – The Festival of Quilts Dinner hosted by Stuart Hillard.

An ever popular textile triumph, The Festival of Quilts will return to The NEC from the 9th – 12th  August 2018 when it will feature a gallery of work by quilting expert and American national treasure Nancy Crow, plus workshops by creative powerhouse, musician, quilter and co-founder of Ricky Tims.

Words: Sarah Glayzer


Upper Street Events (USE) announced today that Julie Harris, formerly Group Managing Director of Immediate Media Company, has been appointed as CEO.

With a wealth of experience in consumer media as well as digital, data, and insight businesses, Julie will lead USE into its next phase of strategic development. Julie joins USE on July 17th and takes over from Andrew Duncan, who was appointed as Interim CEO in February this year.

Julie joins from Immediate Media, the leading special interest media company, where she ran a portfolio of acquisition and investment businesses. She was also a key member of the leadership team that sold Immediate Media to Hubert Burda Media in January 2017. Whilst at Immediate Media, one of the businesses she led was Hitched, the UK’s leading wedding venues marketplace, and in the two years since acquiring it, transformed the business resulting in profits more than doubling. Prior to Immediate Media, Julie was Global CEO of WGSN Group, the world’s leading fashion and retail trend forecasting company, where she grew the business to over 6,000 customers in 87 countries, taking it from a declining business to double digit organic growth in just under two years.

A transformation programme has been underway at USE- changing the way it builds shows that deliver face-to-face encounters between valuable audiences, brands and retailers.  It has invested heavily in deepening its visitor and exhibitor insights, and in building digital capability. Julie will continue this focus and add further acquisitions to this strong platform.

Julie is joining a team that has seen a significant level of investment and change. Mark Kerswell, previously CFO at Centaur Media plc, joined the business in September 2016 as COO and CFO. Andy Baxter, previously with Clarion Events has recently joined the business as Senior Portfolio Director, working alongside experienced Portfolio Directors, Sarah Monk and Chris Holman.

USE Chairman Julian Spooner said: “During his six month term as Interim CEO, Andrew has been a force for rapid change in Upper Street, leading to a number of new initiatives to strengthen focus on the key USE brands. I’d like to thank Andrew for the vision and energy he has brought to the business which has made these changes possible so quickly.

I am delighted to welcome Julie to Upper Street. I know that she will take the company and its great team to the next stage of its plan, adding acquisitions to a strong platform of great events.”

Julie adds: “Upper Street Events is highly respected as a UK leader in consumer events and I’m delighted to have the opportunity to lead this exciting and ambitious company. I’m looking forward to working with the USE team and Livingbridge, to build on what has already been achieved and to unlock the future potential of this business and its highly engaged audiences.”

Editor’s Note:

USE is a leading UK organiser of consumer events with brands including London Art Fair, New Designers, The Knitting and Stitching Shows, The Cycle Show, Country Living Shows, Move It, The Great British Sewing Bee, The Adventure Travel Show and The London Cruise Show. The company was acquired in a management buyout in December 2014, backed by Livingbridge LLP. The company completed its first acquisition, of Escape Events Limited, in December 2016.


Julian Spooner, Chairman:

Bevan Duncan, Investor Director, Livingbridge:

Country Living Spring 2017


Dates:  Thursday 27th to Sunday 30th April 2017

Venue: Alexandra Palace (Great Hall via Palm Court) London N22 7AY

Join us at our stunning new venue in north London – this year, for the first time, the fair will be held at historic Alexandra Palace, set in beautiful parkland with spectacular panoramic views over the city. Discover handmade items by wonderfully creative British craftspeople and up-and-coming designers, unique vintage treasures and a mouthwatering array of artisan food and drink.

Great new attractions at this year’s show include:

  • Four live theatres, offering fascinating talks and demonstrations all day long – to include Crafting, Cookery, Business tips and more
  • A bigger, beautiful garden with lots of inspiration and tips for green-fingered gardeners
  • Enter the Village Produce Competition with your prize winning cakes and conserves
  • Inspirational room sets created by leading designers
  • The Pop-Up Market launching crafters, makers, designers and artists
  • Coffee, Cake and Crafting – spare a moment and make a woollen square for charity blankets

Plus all the usual favourites:

  • Hundreds of exciting NEW businesses appearing for the first time
  • Unique and exclusive retailers, specially selected for their originality
  • Inspirational room sets created by leading designers
  • Don’t forget to feed the lambs and see the hens in the CL Small Holding Area

With so many new ideas and so much entertainment, we promise to fill you with inspiration for your blog.

Come down to see us and there’ll be a free gift for you to collect from the Country Living Stand!

Register for a press pass at

London Art Fair 2017


18-22 January 2017

(VIP and Press Preview 17 January)

London Art Fair 2017 closed on Sunday with strong sales reported across the Fair in both Modern British and international contemporary art, including painting, sculpture, photography, drawings, ceramics and more.

With an attendance of 23,000, indications from the Fair, which launches the cultural calendar, are that 2017 will prove a healthy year for the UK market in spite of wider economic uncertainty as the UK prepares to leave the European Union.

Hosted in a pavilion just inside the main entrance to the Fair, museum partner The Lightbox marked ten years since its opening with an exhibition of Modern British art from The Ingram Collection, titled Ten Years: A Century of Art. The Woking-based gallery introduced key works by twentieth century artists such as Henri Gaudier-Brzeska, Barbara Hepworth and Ben Nicholson to new audiences, alongside a chance to glimpse a preview of upcoming shows on romantic painter John Minton and iconic sculptor Henry Moore.

Pru Chambers, Marketing Manager of The Lightbox said:

“Being the Museum Partner of London Art Fair 2017 was a fantastic start to the 10th anniversary year of The Lightbox gallery and museum in Woking. Our LAF exhibition ‘Ten Years: A Century of Art’, comprised of works from The Ingram Collection of Modern British Art, was a big hit with visitors, with many commenting that they were impressed by the breadth and quality of the works in the collection which included pieces by Hepworth, Frink and Gaudier-Brzeska. The Lightbox would like to thank Crown Fine Art and Richard Thompson Insurance Brokers for supporting the exhibition and London Art Fair for giving us the opportunity to be part of a wonderful week of the best in Modern British and contemporary art.”

There was a particular interest in quality Modern British art, fuelled in part by high profile sales in 2016 and international interest in the market thanks to the weak pound. “It has been fantastic, absolutely amazing” said Alan Wheatley of Alan Wheatley Art, “we’ve sold consistently every day, right across the board, including a Terry Frost painting for six figures and a William Turnbull sculpture.”

Fellow Modern British dealer Paisnel Gallery also enjoyed a positive show, with owner Stephen Paisnel citing the ability to meet new collectors as a particular highlight, “Sales have been good, but it’s not so much what you sell as who you meet. We met a first time buyer this week who was thrilled with our service and quality of the work and have many people coming in to speak to us again next week.” Christopher Kingzett Fine Art, a Modern British dealer making a return to the Fair in 2017, sold 18 pieces including John Wells, Roger Hilton, Eduardo Paolozzi, Alan Reynolds, Peter Kingly, Joe Tilson and Alan Jones.

London Art Fair regular Lemon Street Gallery found this year’s edition to be a success, with owner Louise Jones commenting, “’It’s been a really good year, we’ve sold over 40 pieces to private and public collections internationally. We’ve had a piece go to the Fitzwilliam Museum donated through one of their benefactors and another to a well-known TV figure.”

Contemporary German gallery Venet-Haus Galerie reported strong sales, noting the growing international nature of the Fair, “This year has been amazing and it has been surprisingly international. We’ve seen clients from Austria, Switzerland and Italy as well as London. We sold out of James Oliver to London buyers.” These sentiments were echoed by many at the Fair including Korea-based Hanmi Gallery. Director Heashin Kwak remarked, “This year feels a lot more international. We’ve met more European visitors from The Netherlands, France, Turkey and beyond.” Istanbul and London-based Pi Artworks reported particular interest in the work of their international artists Maude Maris, Maria Friberg and Paul Schwer, in what was the most international edition of the Fair yet, with more than two fifths of exhibiting galleries coming from overseas.

Hailing from Barcelona, newcomer Víctor Lope Arte Contemporáneo had a good fair, selling multiple works by Cuban artist Gustavo Díaz Sosa and Spanish artist Jacinto Moros. Diversity was a theme in their newly found clients, which included both private collectors and a Rotterdam art foundation.

The experience of galleries showing as part of Art Projects, a curated showcase of the freshest contemporary art from across the world, was also positive. LLE, from Cardiff, who were part of a gallery pairing with First Floor Gallery Harare (Zimbabwe) as part of the collaborative ‘Dialogues’ section, commented, “Casper White has been very popular sales wise but all of the artists have had a really good response. We’ve met everyone from collectors to painters to galleries which is really good for future collaborations.” Jack House Gallery showed a debut film by artist Amartey Golding, which was chosen by The Art Newspaper as a particular highlight. Golding found the Fair to be “an amazing experience,” adding, “the work has really resonated with all sorts of people. I’d love to come back next year.”

Photography continues to perform well at the Fair, with Flowers Gallery selling two Scarlett Hooft Graafland landscape photographs to new buyers. Hooft is a new artist for the gallery with a show later this year. Fellow photography dealer ARTITLEDcontemporary also sold well. “The Fair allowed me to find a different audience compared to other London art fairs and I’ll be back next year,” said Director Hans van Enckevort.

London Art Fair returns to the Business Design Centre for its 30th edition from 17 – 21 January 2018 (VIP Preview 16 January).


Sponsors and Supporters


– VIP Car Partner


– VIP Coffee Partner and Art Projects Artist Award Sponsor

Peroni Nastro Azzurro

– Thursday Late Drinks Sponsor

Switzerland Tourism

– Sponsor

Lund Humphries

– Sponsor

EBISS Fine Art Shipping Services

– Official Packing and Shipping Services

The Lightbox

– Museum Partner

Crown Fine Art

– Museum Partner Supporter

Pont des Arts

– VIP Preview Wine Partner

Rose Arts & Media

– Galleries Reception Sponsor


– Sponsor

The Dorchester & 45 Park Lane

– VIP Hotel Partners

Sotheby’s Institute of Art

– Tours Partner


– Official Online Partner

Genesis Imaging

– Photo50 Supporter



For further press information please contact

 James Douglas or Arthur Dimsdale at Four Colman Getty

020 3697 4267 | 020 3687 4269 |


Notes to editors

London Art Fair exhibitors

The full list of galleries in the main fair at London Art Fair 2017 is as follows:



Gormleys Fine Art

Adam Gallery

Jill George Gallery

Advanced Graphics London

Katharine House Gallery

Alan Wheatley Art

Knight Webb Gallery


Lemon Street Gallery

Art First

Lena Boyle Fine Art


Liberty Gallery

Arusha Gallery

Liquid Art System

Askew Art

Long & Ryle

Atelier Aki

Mazel Galerie

Atelier Alen

Merville Galleries

Austin / Desmond Fine Art

Osborne Samuel

Beardsmore Gallery

Paisnel Gallery

Beaux Arts Bath

Panter & Hall

Beaux Arts London

Parasol unit foundation for contemporary art

Bernard Chauchet Contemporary Art

Paul Stolper Gallery

bo.lee gallery

Perve Galeria

Boundary Gallery

Peter Harrington Gallery

Browse & Darby

Pi Artworks Istanbul/London

Caroline Wiseman

Piano Nobile

Castlegate House Gallery

Pontone Gallery

Cavaliero Finn

Portal Painters


Portland Gallery

Christopher Kingzett Fine Art

Purdy Hicks Gallery

Crane Kalman Brighton

Quantum Contemporary Art

Crane Kalman Gallery

Rabley Contemporary

Cynthia Corbett Gallery

Redfern Gallery

Cyril Gerber Fine Art/ Compass Gallery


Danielle Arnaud Contemporary Art



Sladmore Contemporary

Duncan R. Miller Fine Arts

TAG Fine Arts

Eames Fine Art Gallery

The Hanbury Collection

Edgar Modern

The Reel Poster Gallery

England & Co

The Scottish Gallery

Ewan Mundy Fine Art

UNION Gallery


Urbane Art Gallery

Fairhead Fine Art Limited

Venet-Haus Galerie

Fiumano Projects

Victor Lope Arte Contemporaneo

Flowers Gallery


french art studio

Waterhouse & Dodd

Galerie Artima

Wilson Stephens & Jones

Galerie Calderone

Woolff Gallery

Galerie Heike Strelow

The full list of Art Projects and Dialogues galleries at London Art Fair 2017 is as follows:

  • BEARSPACE, London
  • Carlos Carvalho Arte Contemporânea, Lisbon
  • Chiara Williams Contemporary Art, London
  • Division of Labour, London
  • Do Gallery, Chungcheongbuk-do
  • Ed Cross Fine Art, London
  • First Floor Gallery Harare, Harare
  • Galerie Rothamel, Erfurt
  • Galerija Fotografija & L’Agence à Paris, Ljubljana & Paris
  • Gibbons & Nicholas, Dublin
  • Golden Thread Gallery, Belfast
  • Hanmi Gallery, London + Seoul
  • IMT GALLERY, London
  • Iniva, London
  • Jack House Gallery, Portsmouth
  • Joanna Bryant and Julian Page, London
  • Kalfayan Galleries, Athens/ Thessaloniki  
  • Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery, London
  • LLE, Cardiff
  • MATÈRIA, Rome
  • Maus Contemporary, Birmingham AL
  • Muriel Guepin Gallery, New York
  • Noorforart Contemporary, Aix en Provence
  • Nunnery Gallery, London
  • OBJECT/A, Manchester
  • Parasol unit foundation for contemporary art, London
  • PAPER, Manchester
  • Perve Galeria, Lisbon
  • RED CORRIDOR Gallery, Kuenzell/Fulda
  • The Contemporary London

White Conduit Projects, London


Upper Street Events Acquires Escape Events

 Upper Street Events has today announced the acquisition of Escape Events, bringing the Adventure Travel Show, three Cruise Shows and the Olympia Historic Automobile Fair into the Upper Street Events portfolio.

These shows join Upper Street’s strong lineup of quality consumer events which include Country Living, Language Show, London Art Fair and the Cycle Show. The Upper Street portfolio now encompasses 25 consumer shows and one trade event.

Escape Events, which was founded fifteen years ago, is based in Kent and has seven employees.

Upper Street is backed by the mid-market private equity firm Livingbridge which invested in the company in 2014 as part of a management buyout. This acquisition is the first for Upper Street who has launched four new shows this year.

Managing Director of Upper Street Events, Paul Byrom, commented:

‘We are delighted to welcome the Escape Events business and its team into Upper Street Events.  We share similar values, culture and a clear focus on delivering best in class passion-led events. The Escape events have a loyal and very well targeted visitor base and strong support from the market place. There is also excellent opportunity to utilise the Upper Street database and marketing platform to extend the reach of the shows and enhance return on exhibitors’ investment. By attracting a mix of well-informed and knowledgeable, returning and new visitors, we can create even more vibrant and successful events, and we look forward to accelerating their growth.’

Martin Anslow, Managing Director of Escape Events commented:

‘After developing these events over 8 years we wanted to ensure they continue to flourish.  I think the “fit” with Upper Street is an excellent one, and provides a springboard for new thinking and further growth. Upper Street and Escape Events both share a passion to present high quality consumer events which “go the extra mile” and deliver real value for exhibitors and visitors and I am excited to be working with them into the future.’

Bevan Duncan at Livingbridge commented:

“This is a great addition to Upper Street Events with Escape Events perfectly complementing the business. This acquisition adds another string to Upper Street Events’ bow, allowing it to launch new shows and expand its delivery of premium events. Upper Street Events has an exciting future and we look forward to helping the business grow both organically and through further acquisitions.”


Living Bridge Invest in Upper Street Events

Upper Street Events Ltd, today announces a management buyout. The senior team of Paul Byrom (Managing Director), Isobel Dennis and Daniel Holmes are delighted to be working with private equity company Living Bridge who have supported them in purchasing the majority shareholding from its current owners, the Morris family, for an undisclosed sum.

Currently organising 17 very successful and well known premium shows across the UK and Ireland, this new investment by Living Bridge will support the team in continuing to develop existing shows, launch new event concepts, deliver even more creative and current content that will engage audiences, exhibitors and brands alike.

Commenting, Paul Byrom, Managing Director, USE Ltd said, “The Morris family along with their CEO, Dominic Jones, have been incredibly supportive in the development of Upper Street Events. Their investment in the company and support of our growth strategy has been essential to our success.  I am therefore delighted to have been able to find such a good cultural match with our new investors and am excited by the scale of events media business we can now develop with Living Bridge and our new Chairman Phil Soar.”
“We have been extremely impressed by the team,” says Matt Upton of Living Bridge and now Board member of USE, “in particular their real focus and insight into how to engage with their audiences.  Their grasp of current trends and innovations across all their event sectors provides a great foundation to develop the existing portfolio and introduce new concepts.  B2C events are forming an important part of the marketing mix for brands, providing face to face contact with relevant consumers in what is otherwise an increasingly remote digital relationship.”

“It is of course a sad moment to say goodbye to the Upper Street Events team whom we have worked closely with and who have been part of the Business Design Centre’s history for over 26 years,” said Dominic Jones, Chief Executive, Business Design Centre Group and a Director/Shareholder of USE Ltd, “it however seemed a very natural progression to see the team find a new investor who are excited to take the Company through the next stages of its life. However, as we’ve always done, Upper Street and their shows at the BDC will continue to receive first class service and we look forward to welcoming them back to the venue in 2015.” 

Upper Street Events is passionate about delivering excellent events which provide the very best platforms for bringing like-minded people together for business and pleasure. With two launch shows about to be announced as well as a carefully selected acquisition list the business is in a very positive position to grow.

Galleries buoyant as record numbers visit London Art Fair 2014 (15-19 January)

30,694 people passed through the doors of the Business Design Centre in Islington last week to visit the 26th London Art Fair, the UK’s largest Fair for Modern British and contemporary art.
The figures far surpass the Fair’s previous record of 25,020 visitors in 2012, with higher footfall matched by brisk trade throughout the week. A survey of galleries prior to the Fair indicated optimism for the art market and the economy going into 2014, confidence which appears to be justified by sales reported this week.*
Sarah Monk, Director of London Art Fair commented:

“We’ve enjoyed a rise in visitor figures over the past ten years, which reflects the growing interest in art, the importance of international visitors and recognition of the quality of work on offer. Galleries have reported strong sales at all price points, demonstrating an engaged and curious audience wanting to buy art, whether serious collectors or someone perhaps making their first acquisition.”
“We’ve made sales every day,” said Mayfair dealer Stephen Paisnel, “and anticipate more follow up thanks to the extent of the appreciation we’ve received”. “It’s been a fantastic week,” agreed Lucinda Bell of LAMB arts, who represents young contemporary artists from around the world. “In terms of sales and interest, it’s been our best Fair yet.” Nicholas Sharp of The Multiple Store who exhibited work by David Shrigley and Cornelia Parker commented that he was “impressed with the quality of people attending – a better percentage of quality buyers”.
With a forthcoming exhibition planned at the Tate, work by Scottish artist Alan Davie RA was to be seen at many stands. Mason’s Yard dealer Alan Wheatley reported the sale of a large 1950s painting in excess of £100,000. “He’s grossly underrated and prices should be much higher” said Wheatley. Mark Goodman of Goodman Fine Art, exhibiting for the first time at any fair, sold another for just under that figure, as well as a large triptych on paper by Francis Bacon.
“The economy is looking better,” said John Thompson, who has been exhibiting at the Fair for over 20 years and this year sold over 30 works by four different contemporary artists, including Paul Wright and Carl Melagari. Toby Clarke of Vigo Gallery sold out of work by one young contemporary artist, Johnny Abrahams, while a John Moore Painting Prize winning work by Biggs and Collings, ‘The Greater Light’, fetched over £20,000. TAG Fine Arts received over 20 orders of Tobias Hill’s ‘Oranges and Lemons’, listed for around £2,000, and Zavier Ellis of Charlie Smith LONDON sold 35 gouache on antique cabinet cards by Tom Butler, each priced at over £300.
  While these figures are representative of a general trend, a number of new initiatives for 2014 have supported London Art Fair in maintaining its position as the UK’s leading fair for Modern British and contemporary art. As the first of a series of regional museum partnerships, The Hepworth Wakefield was invited to curate an exhibition on British Modernism in a pavilion at the entrance to the Fair. Sharing this space were Modern British galleries Jonathan Clark Fine Art, Rowntree Clark and PIANO NOBILE.
PIANO NOBILE reported sales ranging from contemporary artists to significant pieces by Hepworth’s contemporaries such as William Crozier, John Golding, Terry Frost and Eduardo Paolozzi, priced up to quarter of a million pounds. “We’ve met patrons from The Hepworth Wakefield, who have bought from us for the first time, and our clients have certainly found out more about the museum,” said Matthew Travers from the gallery. “We’ve also seen a broad range of people from Middle East visitors to our regular Modern British collectors. This Fair is about good quality art, which is very tradable.”
A number of galleries exhibited at the Fair for the first time this year. London Art Fair was the first European outing for Tokyo’s Whitestone Gallery, whose display of five Japanese Gutai artists held pride of place in the centre of the mezzanine. “We’ve had lots of sales from British collectors,” said Naoto Kakumoto, International Sales Manager, “most of these customers are new clients, but we have also seen people who we first met in the USA.” The gallery sold a number of works by Chiyu Uemae during the Fair. Also exhibiting for the first time was Massachusetts photographic book publisher 21ST Editions. “We’ve never been to a fair where we’ve had so many people constantly coming through,” said Pam Clark.
Specialist in contemporary African art, Jack Bell Gallery was exhibiting for the second time. “This year’s Fair saw 70% new collectors and an upbeat atmosphere,” he reported, “our sales were constant across all artists’. Ivory Coast artist Aboudia was a star performer, with work priced up to £5,000. Jill George Gallery were celebrating their 20th year at the Fair. “It’s been very good all week,” said William Jackson from the gallery, “90% of our sales have been to new clients, that’s why we keep coming back.” They reportedly “sold something by most artists” including a large piece by Bruce McClean for around £10,000.
Art Projects, the curated showcase of emerging galleries, saw the launch of a new ‘Dialogues’ initiative of shared presentations between UK and international spaces. “The Dialogues theme has been brilliant,” said Maria Stenfors, who shared a stand with SABOT from Romania, “we’ve discovered dialogues within pieces that we didn’t know were already there.”
London Art Fair was C&C Gallery’s first Fair, “it’s exceeded all expectations,” said director Dr Joanna Gore who sold work by the majority of artists on their stand in Art Projects, including Violet Fingers, John Greenwood and Chris Hawtin, “We’ve done incredibly well over the last week, not just in terms of sales but through establishing great contacts.” 2014 was also the first year that Antlers Gallery exhibited at the Fair. “It’s great for networking across London, Britain and Europe,” said Celia Archer, who sold out of work by Anouk Mercier, nine pieces in total ranging from editions at £350 to the most expensive original work at £2,100.  
London Art Fair returns for its 27th edition from 21-25 January 2015.

For further press information please contact Four Colman Getty
Chris Baker / 020 3697 4252 / 07872 176 270 /
Matt Railton 020 3697 4262 / 07872 176 270 /
Rachael Young 020 3697 4257 / 07870 80543 /
*57 London Art Fair galleries were surveyed by telephone, with the following results [figures for 2013/2012 in square brackets]:
1) Do you think the economy in 2014 will:
a. Get better – 70% [24%/45%]
b. Get worse – 2% [33%/14%]
c. Stay the same – 28% [42%/41%]
2) Do you think the art market in the same period will:
a. Fare better – 61% [49%/46%]
b. Fare worse – 0% [7%/11%]
c. Stay the same – 39% [41%/43%}
3) Which sector of the art market, if any, do you think is undervalued and may come closer to reaching its potential in 2014?
Emerging contemporary – 43%
Modern British – 16%
Editions – 13%
Established contemporary – 9%
Digital art – 7%
None – 5%
Photography – 4%
Sculpture – 2%
All – 2%