Hallett Independent partners with Connect Art Fair

Elena Carofyllakis
March 10, 2022

Connect, London’s Independent Art Fair, is different. It’s run by art dealers and aims to bring exhibitors and buyers together in an informed and refreshing way and Hallett Independent is excited to announce it will be partnering with this exciting Art Fair once again. Hallett’s Clare Pardy caught up with Connect Fair’s founder Anna Wakerley to hear all about doing things differently.

After an archaeology and art history degree at Cambridge and working with an established dealer in Victorian pictures, Anna set up her own small gallery in the early ‘80s. In spite of it paying its way and having proved both a good introduction to potential clients and a meeting point for local artists, domestic pressures and the school run meant that Anna had to give it up after a few years to work from home.

She decided at this point that rather than simply buy ‘names’ she would instead be guided by eye, instinct and ‘occasional misplaced optimism’. It was a propitious time for Modern British art; not only were many young and entrepreneurial dealers promoting artists like Dod Proctor and Laura Knight but also runners were supplying a steady flow of work from artists’ studios, ripe for promotion. It was in this climate that Anna established her raison d’être – a combination of work she admired and liked from unknown names, women, and East Anglian artists.

Armed with good cross section of stock, Anna took her pick of well-run specialist fairs such as the Works on Paper Fair and the 20/21 at the Royal College of Art. But then they tended to disappear or change, and many good, smaller dealers were suddenly left homeless.  That was when Anna decided that there was a real need for a fair aimed at smaller, specialist dealers like her and Connect was born in 2019.

Both Anna and her Connect partner, James Manning were keen to do something different with the Fair. They did not want to run it as a business but rather a co-operative, made up of a family of friends in which everyone contributes their expertise. They welcomed dealers who were completely new to the game, based outside London and from diverse specialist areas whether it be Japanese painting or Old Master drawings. Each dealer is encouraged to bring their own clients and the Fair provides a plentiful supply of Private view invitations and general tickets.

Anna is very aware of all the changes in the art market but remains optimistic that there will always be an audience for well-made art at affordable prices on offer in a friendly informal setting by approachable knowledgeable dealers. She hopes that she provides a place of discovery and education and an opportunity to fall in love with the unexpected.

We are delighted to be a partnering with the Connect Art Fair and look forward to discovering something new. For us at Hallett Independent, art is not merely a feature of the job, but an enriching part of our lives, as such we believe it’s our duty to support public art institutions and in particular independent art fairs and exhibitions like this one.

The Fair is being held at The Mall Galleries, London on 23 - 27 March, tickets are now on sale at

Image credit: Development of a Square - Green by Sir Terry Frost RA, from Gwen Hughes Fine Art