Wednesday, April 09, 2008

FORM is scrapped

FORM, Battersea Park London

After two stagings, Clarion Events, organisers of the Olympia fairs, have abandoned their new fixture FORM. In 2009, for the first time in 13 years, it looks likely that there will be no Spring art, antiques or design fair at the West London exhibition complex.

The Spring version has always been a problem and has never been conspicuously successful. For most of its 13 years it was one of the three annual Fine Art & Antique Fairs although it attempted to have a more modern, decorative edge than the other two.

In 2006 Clarion gave the Spring fair an unashamedly modern slant and retitled it Fine Art, Design and antiques, marketing it as "the fair for the 21st century". But it remained weak and last year its director Freya Simms renamed it FORM promising an experience not before seen at Olympia, a fair that was definitely not an antiques fair and one which broke the Olympia mould, combining cutting edge with style and design.

This attempt to rebrand the fair proved unsuccessful, whilst some appreciated its rough and ready, fresh, fun, approach, FORM was not a serious new fair and fell between a number of disciplines, being neither contemporary nor antique - but incorporating exhibitors from both areas.

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