The biennial Sluice_ art fair returns for its third edition this week, with the focus on artist-led, DIY and artist/curator practices.

Taking place at Bargehouse, Oxo Tower Wharf, London, the fair includes presentations by over 30 galleries, with artist-led spaces from France, Romania, Thailand and USA taking part alongside galleries from across the UK.

Sluice_ continues its tradition of presenting a strong performance strand, with this year’s highlights including slam poets and rappers offering their take on daily news events, and Danish group QWERTY’s funeral planning service.

A curated programme of film includes Amy Lunn’s inaugural Sluice_screens-winning work Half Lives, as well as screenings selected by Gordon Shrigley, Lindsey Friend and Jean-Michel Crapanzano.

Artists: talking

This year also includes the a-n supported Sluice_ talks programme. “The talks are an opportunity to discuss, address and unpick aspects of contemporary art that we feel are worth investigating,” says Sluice_ co-director Ben Street.

“In the past we’ve had talks on the economics of creating spaces for art, the role of criticism, the nature of art fairs, and contemporary art’s relationship with the public.

“This year, we further the discussion with talks on public art, contemporary art in historic settings, and the rights of digital artists.”

All talks are free to attend and include a special Paying Artists discussion exploring how artist-led organisations can get involved in the Paying Artists campaign.

Paying Artists in the Artist-led taking place Saturday 17 October at 3.30pm. Panellists include artists Julie McCalden (a-n) and Sean Edwards (Paying Artists Regional Advocate).

Artists: taking over

As part of a-n’s coverage of the fair, artist Marion Piper (work pictured above) will be in attendance to ‘take over’ the a-n Instagram feed. She’ll be recording Sluice_2015 through a series of images, posted live @anartistsinfo during Thursday’s preview day and the first public day on Friday.

Piper, who is based at Angelika Studios, an independent studio group and project space in High Wycombe, applied to run the takeover following a call out by a-n last month. She says she’s been a fan of Sluice_ since its inception in 2011.

“It was great that visitors had the opportunity to flow between the different areas and to become really active as participants in the fair. I found it was possible to gain a sense of what is happening amongst artist-motivated and run projects from across the UK.

“Since then, Sluice_ has become a great meeting place where virtual contacts can become real, and where people and ideas have space to connect.”

This year’s fair also sees the launch of a new publication, Sluice_magazine. Issue one will include articles by Thomas Marks, Clara Keating and Laura Davidson and an interview by Paulette Terry Brien of Manchester gallery the International 3.

With plans to publish twice a year, Sluice_ co-director Karl England explains that it’s a way of bringing together the many strands of activity the organisation is already involved with.

“Our activities cover different formats in different countries and online throughout the year,” he says. “Sluice_magazine is a way to tie all these activities together and to extend our commitment to promote artist/curator and emerging practice.”

Sluice_2015, 16-18 October 2015, 11am-6pm, Bargehouse Oxo Tower Wharf, London. Admission is free.

Watch out for Marion Piper’s images of Sluice_ appearing on the a-n Instagram feed later this week

More on

Frieze week 2015: London’s October art fairs

Frieze week 2015 tag for more news of events taking place around this year’s art fair.

Sluice: more of a happening than an art fair – Dany Louise reviews the 2013 edition.