What’s on in London this month: the design shows, art fairs and markets to check out in March

1. Affordable Art Fair

March 12-15 at Battersea Evolution, Battersea Park, Queenstown Road, SW11

Tickets from £9 to £27 (affordableartfair.com)

Art adds edge to any interior. But where can you find desirable artworks in the capital with provenance and at an accessible price? No problem at this popular fair that’s now in its third decade and living up to its name. 

This edition of the Affordable Art Fair displays thousands of original artworks from 110 galleries at prices from £50, including a new section for prints. Here, we feature Purpose, oil on canvas by Ilana Gal, priced £5,995 framed, from Clarendon Fine Art.

See works in progress with splashy paint and careful lino cuts. A special celebration of female artists marks International Women’s Day earlier in the month. Graduates get their chance in a curated show of new talent, while a print studio hosts demonstrations and workshops. Several events for families include a novel “pushchair hour” from 10am to 11am on Saturday March 14. 


Merits: stone can be practical as well as beautiful, such as at the tourist office in Plainfaing, France, by Studiolada (Dan Glasser)

2. The New Stone Age

Open now until May 15 at the Building Centre, 26 Store Street, WC1

Admission free (buildingcentre.co.uk/stone; 020 7692 4000)

In a quiet crescent off Tottenham Court Road, the Building Centre is celebrating stone with international works that highlight the world’s oldest building material, not only as practical and beautiful — such as the tourist office in Plainfaing, France, by Studiolada — but also as seriously sustainable.

Stone, it is claimed, can reduce a project’s carbon footprint by an incredible 90 per cent compared to typical steel or concrete frames.

Curators Amin Taha of Groupwork, Steve Webb of Webb Yates and Pierre Bidaud from the Stonemasonry Company are the architect, engineer and craftsman who made the controversial 15 Clerkenwell Close, EC1, the seven-storey building with a rough-hewn limestone façade, fossils and fallen columns that narrowly escaped a demolition order last summer.

Webb says: “Stone is strong and abundant and its extraction does not require huge amounts of energy. Modern improvements in design and analysis mean that it can be used in ways not thought possible before.” 


Antiques: objects from all eras will be on display at the Open Art Fair in Chelsea from 18 March

3. The Open Art Fair

A celebration of excellence in art, design and craftsmanship, March 18-24, Duke of York Square, Chelsea SW3

Tickets £20 (theopenartfair.com)

Antiques are guaranteed to set a home apart and the director of this event, Thomas Woodham-Smith, co-founder of Masterpiece London Art Fair, says this show is “light-hearted, welcoming and well-priced”.

More than 104 international exhibitors, from established galleries to small online operators, are punting thousands of objects from all eras.

These specialist dealers will sell, for example, fine and fun furniture, 18th-century Chinese porcelain, carpets, silver, kitchenalia, aeronautica, handcrafted model automobiles, Art Deco mascots, London Underground maps and 19th-century Japanese bronzes.

We covet a Queen Anne cabinet, £39k, from Millington Adams of Somerset.


Pretty piece: a ceramic drinks holder by Dani Lane, available at The London Artisan

4. The London Artisan

March 14-15, from 11am to 6pm at The Old Truman Brewery, E1

Admission free (thelondonartisan.com

Now in its fifth year, this lively fair in Brick Lane has jewellery, homewares, beauty products, ceramics, textiles, glassware and illustrations from 40 independent producers and designer-makers, priced £5 to £200.

We love a pretty ceramic piece from Dani Lane, pictured above. Organiser Sophie Rees says: “We are passionate about handmade, organic, sustainable design.


Urban design market: Sample is free to enter, with a range of stylish products for sale

5. Sample

March 7, from 10am-7pm in Peninsula Square, Greenwich, SE10

Free entry (greenwichpeninsula.co.uk)

Masterminded by veteran curator Wayne Hemingway, this is the 10th edition of an urban design market for food, fashion, health and beauty and homewares, including handmade ceramics, pictured, from London’s Bansheeplum.

Enjoy workshops, demos, street food and entertainers. To finish, cross the river on Emirates Air Line cable car for amazing views.

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