Signage is a recurring theme within the work of Mike Ballard. In his paintings and sculptures, Ballard aims to bring our attention to the visual noise that influences a fundamental experience of the everyday urban environment. His works riff on the territorial gestures that form the boundaries between public and private property. Ballard’s approach to the metropolis as a ‘ready-made’, allows for a transformation of the quotidian. Here Ballard shows sculptures made from recycled hoardings, structures that physically mark a division between public and private space, and paintings based on the texture produced by graffiti and the remains of stickers found on municipal signage, suggestive of a kind of illegible urban language.
Ben Tuffnell 2017
At the core of my artistic practice lies the question of what kind of painting (figurative or abstract) employing the materials and concepts of classical and especially classically modernist painting is still possible in the twenty-first century. By 'possible' I mean relevant by virtue of either formal or thematic innovation or inventiveness.
Olivia Bax is interested in the balance between planning and spontaneous making, between mass and detail. Her work considers how we view sculpture in relation to our wider built environment. All the pieces in Surface Matters start with a steel armature. There is no preconceived plan; the steel is a freehand drawing in space. But it also has a function. Like a traditional armature, it is the core and the framework on which to build. The steel armatures are covered with chicken wire, papier-mâché and paper pulp. An area of the armature (usually the most detailed section) is deliberately exposed.