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The 30th anniversary Summer Olympia, to be held at the West London exhibition complex from June 6 to 16, has been re-designed with broader central avenues and, with the expansion of the fair to include the National Hall in addition to the Grand Hall, there is new scope for stand design.

A number of dealers will use the extra space to expand their stands into design statements but the most revolutionary of the new ‘super stands’ will be two-storey affairs like the one in our artist’s impression, right. This shows the structure to be built for Olympia veterans Guinevere.

These Chelsea dealers, whose decorative stock is geared to the interior decorator, are typical of a surprisingly large number of Olympia regulars who wish to be part of the new look.

There is also a new approach to the halls’ decor including modern colour schemes, new carpeting and perspex wall features in the Olympia Way and Hammersmith Road entrances.

This new sleek environment is accompanied by another development which will prove more controversial among exhibitors. For the first time at June there will be a considerable amount of modern and contemporary work for sale.

Clarion, the event organisers, insist that the traditional strict June datelines still apply and that there has always been a facility for allowing items outside dateline “of an exceptional nature.”

But there will be too much on offer of a contemporary nature for it all to be “exceptional”. For instance, Katie Jones from Kensington will have contemporary Japanese work; while noted London dealer in the early and spectacular Edrich Van Vredenburgh will bring some startlingly contemporary art into what promises to be a startlingly contemporary stand, and Peter Wain will be bringing his stock of mainly contemporary Chinese ceramics.

Theoretically, datelines remain in place but the emergence of the contemporary is indisputably a major change to the June fair.

This could prove contentious with some of the old guard who maintain the mix of the old and new at the established February Olympia resulted in a lacklustre performance this year.

However, the largest single category at the June Olympia remains furniture, followed by pictures. It is interesting, though, to note a markedly increased presence of dealers in Asian work, an area which has fared better than most in the past couple of years internationally.

The feeling among exhibitors last week was still a mixture of trepidation and excitement, but there is no sign of the exodus of established exhibitors threatened when plans were mooted last year.

The big fear of a vastly enlarged Olympia has not materialised. With around 410 exhibitors in the enlarged hall space this is just a handful more than the usual 400.