The exhibition world has a busy calendar. From January to March, the exhibition shows are aplenty with the Spring Fair, Maison&Objet, Affordable Art Fair and more. In Q2, Frieze edits including the Venice Biennale which comprises one of their popular international events… and we’re just talking art exhibitions here. The major UK exhibition venues such as Birmingham NEC had 12 shows planned in May alone, along with London Excel Centre which had 18 events planned this month.
After exhibiting with Abstract House at events such as Affordable Art Fair and Top Drawer, and visiting many throughout the years, it’s apparent quite quickly just how much plastic is used and disposed of, from production, set up and staging materials, to packaging art for transport into and out of the exhibition.
In a post-Covid era, the art and antiques market grew by 29% in 2021, in both online and offline channels — a reflection of collectors celebrating a new world and lust for art, with significant growth in high value art and antiques. According to The Art Basel and UBS Global Market Report 2022, the art market recorded an aggregated sales value of $65.1 billion of art and antiques by dealers and auction houses. The UK had an impressive 17% share of the global market, coming third place behind the US and China respectively. It’s no wonder art exhibitions and fairs are so popular. Yet, at what expense must these take place?
Plastic awareness has risen vastly in recent years, with great thanks to legendary documentaries such as David Attenborough’s Blue Planet which played a big part in raising awareness of the cost to our environment of single-use plastics. In fact, research has proven nearly nine in ten people (88%) who watched Blue Planet II changed their lifestyle choices to become more sustainable. This is fantastic news for our planet, but we still believe more must be done.
In 2018, at Abstract House we paved the way to zero-plastic packaging in the art category by moving entirely to cardboard, without an ounce of bubble wrap in sight. Our customers contacted us in droves to thank us for choosing sustainable packaging, as they valued that they could simply unwrap their artwork and frames and place the packaging with their recycling, rather than having to dispose of any plastic.
By 2019, Abstract House became the most sustainable art brand in the UK, and perhaps the world, by bringing our 100% zero plasticideology to life. Our entire production process from manufacturing our artwork and frames, which are all produced in-house to Guild Of Fine Art standards, right through to packaging the artwork direct to consumer is completely plastic-free. Our picture frames are made from real solid float glass, and we ship them across the UK and internationally. We also invested in technology and infrastructure to enable us to produce each artwork and frame to order, and by doing so have reduced waste.
We believe there has to be a better way. You don’t need to compromise on quality, nor do so at the risk of damaging our environment.
This is why Abstract Art Fair was born. It’s the fair we’ve all been waiting for, the world’s very first sustainable art fair which takes place in Greater London, June 8–12. Book free tickets here and experience the new way to discover art. There will be a host of original art and limited edition art on offer, with special exhibits commissioned such as ‘The Green Room’, a regeneration exhibit showcasing a stunning display of dried flowers, along with ‘The Origin’, an exhibit representing a living wall, promoting hope and prosperity for our planet. There will also be special Weekend Family Sessions to make it accessible for children, with free activities on offer to make the fair a fun and enjoyable experience for all ages.
We hope you’ll come and join us to experience a piece of history being made as we work to change the industry for the greater good.