NotFair 2023: Alchemy

Now in its thirteenth year, the alternative to The Melbourne Art Fair is back, bigger than ever and with a new curatorial team.

NotFair, Australia’s perpetually unruly alternative art fair, was founded in 2010 as a satellite event to the Melbourne Art Fair—thus Not The Fair, a title which was rapidly shortened. The notion was to showcase independent artists who do not fit the commercial mould, are overlooked, and under-recognized. Run every second year, with occasional off-shoot projects, somehow NotFair has grown into a popular event on the Australian arts calendar.

NotFair has launched many artists into successful careers, and now in its thirteenth year, the nature of the event remains unchanged. NotFair does things differently and is delighted to announce a new curatorial team for their upcoming 2023 event subtitled Alchemy—artists Darren Tanny Tan and Linsey Gosper.

“After thirteen years and a number of NotFair events it seemed time to allow a new generation to take over,” said the original team in a statement. “It has always been NotFair’s intention to allow new opportunities, new talent and new ideas. That applies to the curatorial approach as well as the art and artists. We’re delighted to have Darren and Linsey take over.”

Tanny Tan holds a Master of Contemporary Art from the Victorian College of the Arts and was a participating artist in NotFair 2021. Gosper has held previous positions as the event producer at PHOTO 2022 and PHOTO 2021 (the International Festival of Photography), the Ballarat International Foto Biennale in 2021 and the director of Strange Neighbour gallery. Gosper was a participating artist in NotFair 2017.

“As the new curatorial team of NotFair, we are honoured and proud to carry on the good work of the previous curators,” Tanny Tan and Gosper say. “Being NotFair alumni ourselves, we can attest that NotFair has emerged over the last thirteen years as a significant platform for supporting independent artists. Much has changed since the inaugural NotFair appeared in an abandoned garage, but the talent that flourishes in the realm of the underground has withstood the test of time.”

The curators believe the diverse selection of artists being presented in Alchemy—all forty-one of whom practise without the ongoing support of commercial galleries—indicates the aptitude and tenacity that thrive amongst independent, often overlooked, artists.

With an array of practices and mediums, the thematic concerns across the show reflect a creative tsunami, the duo say. “Be it the transmutation of raw materials into sculptural assemblages injected with visions of posterity, the creation of corporeal imagery that upheaves the senses, or depictions of the natural world that serve as conduits for discovery, the eclectic mix of works showcased in Alchemy are united by the artists’ ability to materialise the intangible. One can expect an alchemical amalgamation of art that invokes a palpable sense of awe and wonder.”

This article was previously published in Artist Profile, issue 65

NotFair2023: Alchemy 
8 – 13 December 2023 
333 Malvern Road, South Yarra, VIC 

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