Cover image of the review
Install shot of Laila, including Bronte Stolz (centre). Courtesy of Spring1883. Photo: Simon Strong

Spring1883 Art Fair by Amelia Winata

13 Aug 2023
Laila, Murray White Room, Nicholas Thompson Gallery, Arts Project Australia, Michael Lett, THIS IS NO FANTASY 10 Aug - 12 Aug 2023

Pucker up, baby, Spring 1883 is back at the Windsor. As I checked in at the fair’s preview on Wednesday afternoon, I was offered a Spring-branded lip balm, no doubt for the kissy-fest ahead. I pocketed a few and applied a thick layer. Close by, a group of wealthy, white women—near identical save for the slight variations of their Golden Gooses—congregated in preparation of their tour with an art advisor. I fizzed with excitement. This was exactly the kind of quiet luxury chic I wanted to be a fly on the wall to and that had been missing from 2021’s sad Covid-safe iteration, held at satellite locations away from the hotel.

Spring 1883 lip balm. Photo: Amelia Winata

But like seeing an old crush, the anticipation of the fair was both exhilarating and nerve-wracking. Was it really back to business as usual? I can report that a ticket to the vernissage remains a hot commodity (one year, I colour photo-copied a wristband). In the days leading up to the event, plebs like me were clawing for access to a booking link sent through private invitations. Your writer paid it forward—over and over. When organisers finally cottoned on to this underground trade, they selectively cancelled tickets.

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