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Artist Harriet Riddell immortalises Bristol locals in a giant sewn mural

A unique artist who specialises in creating sewn portraits in just 30 minutes set up in Bristol yesterday (September 5) to immortalise locals in a giant sewn mural of the city and its people.

Harriet Riddell, Artist in Residence at the upcoming Affordable Art Fair, was stationed outside Watershed in a bid to stitch as many portraits as she could while those sitting for their portraits use a bicycle to power her machine.

She called on the people of Bristol to join her and be part of this giant creation – ahead of the final piece being unveiled when the Affordable Art Fair opens its doors on Friday 9 September.

Harriet, who has appeared at the likes of Glastonbury, will be also spend this week touring Bristol ahead of the fair to sew some of the city’s famous landmarks, along with the people that make it what it is today.

Speaking of the event, Harriet said: “Anyone can take a picture, but there’s something really unique in the opportunity to actually sew a giant reflection of an entire city and the people that make it so special.”

Sam Gare, Director for Affordable Art Fair Bristol, commented: “We have a proud history of supporting innovative new talent at the Affordable Art Fair, and so we’re delighted to announce artist Harriet Riddell as our Artist in Residence this year.”

Coming to Brunel’s Old Station from 9 – 11 September, the Affordable Art Fair Bristol is set to welcome culture vultures in their droves and provide the perfect setting for art lovers to discover and purchase art from Bristol-based artists and beyond.

Now in its fifteenth year, the three-day event will be packed with workshops, live art demonstrations and exclusive pieces from hundreds of emerging and established artists from around 50 galleries.

Amongst the galleries who are making their Bristol debut this year is The Cank Street Gallery from Leicester, GX Gallery from London, Obsidian Art from Buckinghamshire, 752 Contemporary Art – whose artists all hail from Ukraine – and Bristol’s very own Hidden.

The Affordable Art Fair has revolutionised and democratised the art market with its accessible approach, bringing art under £5,000 to its three UK locations: Battersea Park, Hampstead Heath, and Bristol.

It offers first time buyers and serious collectors a unique opportunity to browse and buy a huge variety of art under one roof, and has become a global phenomenon with 15 fairs in 11 cities across several continents.

Affordable Art Fair opens its doors to the public on Friday September 9 and runs until Sunday September 11.

For more information about the fair and for tickets, visit

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