From David Hockney to Lexi Lane - Sophie Helm tells us her top ten

One of the UK’s most ambitious art fairs, Manchester Art Fair, returns to Manchester Central on 4-6 November. Speaking to Manchester Confidential ahead of the much-anticipated weekend, Fair Director, Sophie Helm, shares with us her top ten new and favourite artists exhibiting at this year’s Manchester Art Fair.

2022 10 28 Ben Baker Horse Autonamon31
Ben Baker's Horse Autonamon

Ben Baker - Stand 308

Using iron wire to transform his fluid single line drawings into a tangible version, Ben honed his three-dimensional, illustrative style of sculpture whilst studying in Hereford. His subjects vary but he focuses on creatures of the coast and the sea, alongside his passion for boats and the culture that surrounds them. 

Many of his pieces are interactive, utilising mechanisms to involve the viewer, enabling them to animate the scene before them with the turn of a handle. The mechanisms add a level of intrigue and play that Ben himself gets so much joy from and they’re what draw me to his work too, with his wire drawings destined to either stand still or come to life using cranks, levers and threads of nylon.

2022 10 28 David Hockney Pool Made With Paper45
Pool Made with Paper and Blue Ink for Book (Paper Pools), 1980 

David Hockney - Hidden Gallery - Stand 242

I’ve long been a fan of David Hockney’s work, and I am delighted to reveal that visitors to this year’s Manchester Art Fair will have the opportunity to invest in an original 6-colour hand-drawn lithograph by the acclaimed artist.

Lexi Laine Sonando Manchester Art Fair Manchester Central 2022
Sonando by Lexi Lane

Lexi Lane - Stand 290

Lexi’s work is captivating. A British artist, she trains in the art of freediving in order to achieve her ethereal artwork, created in some of the most unique and pristine underwater locations across the globe. Her aim is to “capture the feeling of being in another world. The otherworldly beauty of the powerful, magical sea.” Exhibiting at Manchester Art Fair for the first time Lexi’s work is not to be missed. 

Night And Day Diptych Peter Davis Saul Hay Gallery Manchester Art Fair Manchester Central 2022
Night and Day Diptych by Peter Davis

Peter Davis - Saul Hay Gallery - Stand 222

Peter Davis is a prizewinning figurative painter who creates urban realist landscapes and contemporary portraits. His work largely focuses on subjects absorbed in their personal technology. From busy streets to quiet alleyways, each vignette is a fascinating narrative of the life of today’s Mancunians. They are all stories of our time, of people going about their everyday lives, technology in hand.

2022 10 28 Laura Pedley Shelter Here40
Shelter here by Laura Pedley

Laura Pedley - Stand 322

Inspired by big skies and open spaces, contemporary artist Laura Pedley creates beautiful abstract landscape artworks which seek to express the deep sense of peace and hope experienced when out in the natural world, bringing those feelings into interior spaces so that the viewer can experience them too. They’re simply beautiful.

2022 10 28 Damian John Stewart Blossom Ix1
Blossom IX by Damian John Stewart

Damian John Stewart - Stand 320

Damian’s interest lies in abstract realism, in capturing the subject’s characteristics and emotions, and drawing the viewer into the narrative within his work. He is fascinated with the paint's surface and the marks he cannot control. His work combines detail and abstraction to communicate power and beauty. ‘Blossom’, on show at Manchester Art Fair, is a new series of contemporary abstract portrait paintings from Damian in his abstract realist style.

2022 10 28 Jane Pine Heartfelt Silence65
Heartfelt Silence by Jane Pine

Jane Pine - Stand 375

Working from her studio, which overlooks Dartmoor's dramatic and ruggedly beautiful landscape of Dartmoor in Devon, Jane established herself as a landscape artist until returning to her real passion, figurative painting. This coincided with a historical family story that set her on a path to sensitively explore psychological states, with a focus on male mental health conditions through her experiences and understanding. Painting in a classical style, using oil paint on canvas or wood panels, Jane presents an authentic and creative interpretation of the sensitivities of human nature.

2022 10 28 Nicola Stallery Durga95
Durga by Nicola Stallery

Nicola Slattery - Stand 315

An elected member of the Royal Society of British Artists, Nicola’s distinct artistic style is well known to a wide audience of art lovers in the UK and beyond. Her work has won several art awards and prizes and is in contemporary art collections worldwide.  Best known as a painter using acrylics and imagination, she is also an accomplished printmaker using collagraph and drypoint printmaking techniques. We’re thrilled to feature Nicola’s work at this year’s Manchester Art Fair.

2022 10 28 Gabriella Buckingham Paradise Pop26
Paradise Pop by Gabriella Burkingham

Gabriella Buckingham

An accomplished artist with over 30 years of experience, it wasn’t until a couple of years ago that Gabriella decided to specialise in fine art having previously worked as an illustrator. Speaking with Manchester Art Fair, she shared how she enjoys a feeling of mystery as she paints, a sort of not knowing what will appear. Sometimes her paintings are bold and intuitive, at others, quiet and observed, whether that is the way light falls around a small still life or the energy and adventure of painting a semi abstraction intuitive composition.

2022 10 28 Jacob Gourley Jacob I85
Lotus l by Jacob Gourley

Jacob Gourley - Soden Collection - Stand 240

Working predominantly in oils and acrylics, Jacob Gourley is a 27-year-old representational painter whose practice explores the boundaries between realism and abstraction. His paintings often have a dream-like quality, whereby figures dissolve into or emerge out of semi-ambiguous backgrounds, which I am drawn to. At the heart of Jacob’s practice is a keen attention to the artwork’s formal qualities, such as shape, tone, edges, colour, and composition.

The referenced artists are just ten of over 120 artists and galleries exhibiting at this year’s Manchester Art Fair.  Since its inception in 2008, the annual event has welcomed over 85,000 art lovers who have spent over £5m on art through the Fair. 

The fifteenth edition of the event, Manchester Art Fair will open at Manchester Central with a VIP preview on Friday 4 November with complimentary drinks and a DJ set by one of Manchester’s favourite artists Stanley Chow. It will open to the public on Saturday 5 and Sunday 6November with over 8,000 people anticipated to attend.

Tickets are selling fast, book now at