Monday, 5 September 2016

Inspired by... / 08 Artist Dan Parry-Jones and the Affordable Art Fair, Bristol

Dan Parry-Jones, artist exhibiting at the Affordable Art Fair Bristol 2016

Before I did this – blogging, writing, digital content etc – I worked for some of Bristol’s loveliest arts organisations, from large, stately art galleries like the Royal West of England Academy to smaller, artist-led studios such as Jamaica Street Artists. Art has always been a big interest of mine and I’m fascinated by how artists create. But getting work from the artist’s studio to the customer’s wall is a tricky business…

One of the most interesting innovations looking to close this gap is the Affordable Art Fair. Happening this weekend (9-11 September 2016) at Brunel’s Old Station in Bristol, the Affordable Art Fair Bristol brings together over 50 galleries and 500 contemporary artists showcasing painting, prints, sculptures and photography. Prices start from just £100, making the Affordable Art Fair a brilliantly informal and accessible place to buy work.

One of the artists exhibiting this year is Dan Parry-Jones, who happens to work out of Jamaica Street (funny how things come around, isn’t it?). Dan, whose work takes inspiration from his urban surroundings, the southwest coast and travels abroad, is just beginning work on a new piece which will incorporate the iconic piece of Bristol street art which portrayed Boris Johnson kissing presidential nominee Donald Trump. Yes, that one.

Here, he talks about his work, travel inspirations and setting his college on fire!

Dan Parry-Jones, artist exhibiting at the Affordable Art Fair Bristol 2016
Balconies, Seville by Dan Parry-Jones

Thanks for talking to us today, Dan. Do you want to start by telling us a bit about your practice and how you work?

My practice involves painting, collage and screen-printing on board. I also take a lot of photos and work in sketchbooks to develop my ideas. I’ve worked in Jamaica Street Studios in Bristol since 2009.

Much of your work appears to be inspired by travel. Is that correct? 

Travel is a big influence on my work, yes. Every year or so I feel the need to change my environment and immerse myself in unfamiliar surroundings. My process relies heavily on high contrast photos so invariably I choose sunny locations! But I wouldn’t say I am drawn to the same places. Once I have produced a series of pieces based on, for example, Seville, my most recent series, I like to think of a new location.

What else inspires you?

In contrast to paintings featuring beautiful Spanish cathedrals or Moroccan markets, I also find the repetitive nature of banal modern urban structures makes a good backdrop for my paintings of figures. Examples of all these will be on show with Gala Fine Art at the Affordable Art fair in Bristol.

Dan Parry-Jones, artist exhibiting at the Affordable Art Fair Bristol 2016
Crossing, Seville by Dan Parry-Jones

Have you always painted?

I have always painted, yes. I’ve always liked exploring the pure markmaking qualities with paint. I am as interested in what can be achieved when the paint is removed as much as when it’s applied.

Are there any other mediums you enjoy?

Yes. Some of the more unusual mediums I’ve experimented with include coffee, bleach and wine. I also went through a phase of burning my work.

Wow, that sounds quite extreme! What were the results?

Once, on my Foundation course, I set the art block on alight and had to call the fire brigade!

Do you regularly exhibit your work? If so, where?

I exhibit often. Recent solo shows include Adam Gallery in Bath and I have another show booked there for April next year, as well as galleries in Oxford and London. The Adam Gallery show was a bit of a career highlight for me. They put my name on the window with those cool stickers, which impressed my kids!

Tell us about what it’s like to be an artist exhibiting at the Affordable Art Fair. 

I do like the atmosphere of the Affordable Art Fair. Ocnce the work is up we can relax and have a drink with other galleries and artists. It’s nice to catch up with people you’ve met through exhibiting at the various AAF venues.


Thanks so much to Dan Parry-Jones. Want to see his work? Head to the Affordable Art Fair Bristol this weekend (9-11 September 2016) where his work will be exhibited at the Gala Fine Art stand.

Don’t think you can afford to buy art for your home? One of my top tips is the Own Art scheme – an interest-free scheme that lets you get on the ‘art ladder’ and invest in some lovely pieces for your home. I’ve used it a couple of times myself and would really recommend this way of buying.

What sort of art floats your boat? Do you have much on your walls at home? Let me know in the comments.

Like this? You might also enjoy these art posts:

Interview with Rebecca Vincent, tattoo artist

An art-filled bohemian Airbnb in Bloomsbury, London

One of the most beautiful art galleries on the planet - the Fondation Maeght, Cote d'Azur, France

Bright colours at the Holborne Museum, Bath - the Colourscape exhibition by Peter Jones

Beautiful silhouette works by Meg and Mog creator, Jan Pienkowski

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