Free Art Fair


Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why are you giving away the art?

A: Because it seems like a nice idea. The people who want it, not only those that can afford it, will be able to own a great piece of contemporary art. It offers an alternative to the market frenzy which we see at this time of year and says that art is worth more than what it sells for.

Q: How do I get my hands on a piece of art?

Registration forms
Registration forms are available to download online click here to download registration form or can be collected in person from the Barbican Foyer (Level G) and from the Garden Room on Level 3 during the fair. One form per household. Over 18s only.
Where to bring your form
2-3.30pm/Sunday 18 October/Garden Room Level 3/Barbican Centre
Please hand your completed form in to a member of the Free Art Fair team. All forms have an equal chance to being drawn. No forms will be accepted before or after these times, there will be no queuing.
The Giveaway
4-5pm/Sunday 18 October/Free Stage/Foyer Level G
Names will be drawn at random. Every name selected will have the chance to choose an artwork if your chosen artwork has already been selected you will have a second chance to choose . If your second choice has gone, that’s it you don’t get anything. We will move on to the next person and so on until all the artwork has been allocated. Please note that you will need to bring some form of ID with you when you select an artwork. Please note that being drawn does not guarantee you get an artwork, just a chance to choose one. We won’t tell you what’s gone until the end, because we want people to take something they really love not just anything they can get!
Collection of work
All winners will need to collect their artwork by 6.30pm on Sunday 18th October. You will need to provide your own means of transport. Please note that work that is unable to be collected on the day will be re-allocated.The decision of the Free Art Fair organisers is final. One registration per household address, and over 18s only.

Q: There’s no queue?

That’s right. This gives everyone a fair chance to get hold of brilliant art, they only have to spend a nice Sunday at the Barbican. The giveaway is designed to get people to commit to a piece of art they love, not just take anything they can get.

Q: Who are these artists?

A: They are all artists whose work we love. All the artists have been selected on the strength of their work in order to make a fantastic show.

Q: Did you ask them to do anything special this year?

We said to the artists be free by making something you have always wanted to. Many of the artists expressed their freedom by completely ignoring this idea.

Q: Shouldn’t the artists get paid for their hard work?

A: It is great if artists are well rewarded for their art. Most artists earn very little money from their work and that is bad. The Free Art Fair is not saying art is worthless. It is saying art is worth more and about more. Most artists don’t become artists to get rich, though it’s nice if it happens, they do it for various reasons often including that they love art.

Q: Why are you doing it at The Barbican this year?

A: The great people at The Barbican have at short notice allowed and supported us to put it on there. It shows that big institutions can do innovative projects in the huge connecting spaces which normally don’t have much in them except signs, coffee shops, and some posters.

Q: Why is this the last Free Art Fair?

A: Everything is done without any money changing hands, and we receive no grants or anything like that, because it wouldn’t be fair to get money when all the artists are giving away their art for free. So it’s a lot of work and we don’t want to keep repeating ourselves. If someone wants to take the whole thing to Miami, New York, or somewhere new then maybe we will make a comeback.

Last updated on 25 September 2008