Vauxhall Art Car Boot Fair in Margate

On Sunday 30 August 2015, the iconic Vauxhall Art Car Boot Fair travelled to the Turner Contemporary, Margate, for a single day of last year’s bank holiday weekend.

A dog poses for the camera in a vintage Vauxhall Viva’s boot

Former home to renowned artists Tracey Emin and JMW Turner, Margate is both quintessential English seaside and vibrant town with a thriving arts and cultural scene, with Turner Contemporary at its centre. So it was the perfect location for this exuberant art event, where famous artists make special works just for the day and turn up in person to sell them to the public.


The event was an unmissable day out for art-lovers, day trippers and bank holiday-makers, with a line-up including Tracey Emin, Gavin Turk, Rachel Howard, Vic Reeves and Sir Peter Blake and all the highlights from the flagship London event, plus a new array of artists and performers handpicked from local talent.

An afternoon of fun and frivolity

Serious art bargains, original works and special editions by leading artists at incredible prices featured alongside classic Vauxhall motors, cool installations and a host of great activities for visitors. Activities included:


  • exclusive free custom screen-printing at The Copy Shop
  • the Dog in Boot photo shoot in a vintage Vauxhall Viva
  • an exciting line-up of outlandish performances on the Cabaret Futura stage, including a cool neo-punk girl band, fresh new stand-up and the fantastic Band of Holy Joy
  • spontaneous promenade performances within the event: Poetry Roulette, five-minute portraits, the inky-selfie machine, Human Jukebox, sensational Sink the Pink drag acts, a knitted-swimsuit fashion parade and more
  • a dog show on the seafront promenade with special prizes, including Most Inspiring Hound – the judging panel will be made up of both dog and art experts
  • Vanera Camera Obscura – a whole ex-NATO camper van turned into a pinhole camera, taking portraits on giant pieces of photographic paper. Seaside snaps on a big scale!


Our Margate Art Car Boot Fair received an extra funding boost from the Arts Council of England. This ensured that even more up-and-coming artists and performers would be able to take part in the event, which curators Karen Ashton and Helen Hayward conceived to re-introduce fun into a thriving but increasingly commercial art scene.


Making a second appearance at our 2015 Margate fair (and part of the dogs-in-art theme) were Art on a Postcard’s limited-edition postcards, specially commissioned and signed for the fair by artists including Rankin, Ray Richardson, Dougie Wallace, Hayden Kays, Cosmo Sarson, Robert James Clarke, Margot Bowman and Benjamin Murphy. These one-of-a-kind postcards would hold their place in any art collection, with all proceeds going to the Hepatitis C Trust.


We also brought along some of our famous heritage Vauxhalls, such as the PA Velox, Viva HA, Royale, Firenza and Ventora, for artists to use as pitches at the event. And visitors were encouraged to bring well-behaved dogs on leads to take part in the dog show and the Dog in a Viva Boot shoot.