Mike Ballard, Born 1972. Lives and works in London
My work is inspired by abstract compositions found in the urban environment, and the territorial gestures that divide public and private space. The work explores and translates the everyday visual language that the City’s infrastructure presents.
My research takes the form of Flaneur style wanderings; by ‘finding’ such materials as building site hoardings and painted pavement markings.
They form a pattern of language that is driven by consumerism and digital progression, yet also display one of exclusion and escape.
My latest series of work explores an expanded approach to the process of making. Using both traditional oil paints and spray paint the works oscillate between states of presence and absence.
This latest series of ‘Anti-Landscape’ paintings are based on the urban hieroglyphics of utility companies. The painted marks left by the workers, to indicate the location of underground networks, forms a code between the different utilities, water, electricity, gas, and telecommunications.
These subterranean networks provide the infrastructure that drives and maintains modern life. They appear to me as unintentional abstract gestures that form part of the everyday language of the city.
The hoardings I have collected are cut down and made into sculptural elements and structures. The new forms I create provide an alternative context for their accidental painterly compositions and weathered textures to be considered.
My installations result in immersive alternative environments, inviting the viewer to examine and rethink the dialogue between medium and context and their own relationship to the city.
” Art is a constantly evolving language and processes, its the freedom to explore whatever you want and to look at things in a new way, for me its a way of understanding the world and a place to get lost in. ”
Photographs and text courtesy of the artist.