Although many artists see their work as a part of themselves, few, if any, manage to accomplish such a feat. No artist has done what Adam Ball has accomplished; a perfect balance of themselves and the natural world directly reflected in their work. THE SPACE BETWEEN at the Goss-Michael Foundation, seamlessly blends technology, biology, and the artist. Curated by Ed Bartlett of The Future Tense, Adam’s works immediately captivate the viewer through large scale, almost intimate works. It is an absolute must-see, at Goss-Michael Foundation. This is a must-see exhibition, and there will be a artist talk at 12pm in the gallery on Saturday 4th October (free admission) and an evening closing reception. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
Q: ‘The Space Between’ refers to the title of this exhibition at the Goss-Michael Foundation- How did you choose to incorporate both biology and technology in your pieces?
I think it was inevitable with the fusion of biology and technology and the blurring of the borders where art meets science. I didn’t want to have any limits on the selection process of images I incorporated in this show, so as a consequence the show is a sort of visual reference to many of the things that interest me. Some of the biological images would be impossible to photograph without recent advancements in science or the collaboration with other professions, and so ultimately I would have been unable to put this show together at any other time in history.
Q: ‘Fearless’ is one of your cut-out pieces and you chose to not directly apply the hand-cut paper to the background. How does the evolution and difference in the bend of the paper correlate to your ideas behind the piece?
Fearless is a large drawing on hand-cut paper attached to the wall in a way which allows it to move with time, constantly changing as if it were an organic entity in its own. By allowing this and using only natural materials – paper and charcoal – I hope to reflect the source material which is largely microbiological. The title ‘Fearless’ references the gene in mice that scientists have learnt to suppress and how this may effect mankind’s ability to control learnt fear. We are only born with two fears – falling and loud noises – and the rest we learn from our environment.
Q: In your piece ‘Imperfect Symmetry’, you have now included an option to change the LED lights inside, via iPhone as well as adding frosted glass to the edges. What are some other materials involved in this piece and why did you choose blue for this exhibition?
Imperfect Symmetry is the first piece you see as you enter the exhibition. From the hot Dallas sunshine you come into a dark, cool room with a glowing blue light box. We wanted to emphasis this contrast – coming from London the light here is intense. This piece is made from hand-cut white felt backed onto cotton, so with the lights off it is a minimal, tranquil work. I actually prefer it with the lights off but it has the ability to be two very different pieces at day or night.
Q: In ‘Permanent Traces’, how many layers of fabric were used, what type and also why did you choose this type in particular?
It is created from several layers of transparent fabric, cut and stretched in layers a fraction of an inch in front of each other so each layer has an effect on the previous. I chose the fabric because of its sheer quality, so that in some light it is difficult to see where the fabric stops and the shadow begins.
Q: ‘Communion’, it’s one of the boldest pieces in this exhibition, using dark blue velvet as material to completely absorb all the light, and it’s paired with Refract, an incredibly soft piece using Satin. What were the inspirations for these pieces and the symbolism of their titles?
The play with light and different materials is something I’ve been experimenting with by using one thing to emphasis the quality of another. The physicality of velvet contrasts with the ephemeral nature of transparent paper.
Q: ‘Genus’, like many of your cut-out pieces, is multi-dimensional and cut with a surgical scalpel by yourself- How many hours (on average) are put into your pieces?
Too many! A several hundred hours on each piece. I don’t have any studio assistants as I want to do everything myself and as a consequence I only make about 15-20 works a year.
Q: ‘Beyonder’ is definitely a standout in this exhibition, because its composition differs greatly from the other pieces. What was the inspiration behind this piece?
It comes from the Taman Negara rainforest in Malaysia. I visited a few years ago and took hundreds of photographs – a challenge in itself as it was monsoon season and I was covered in leeches and mosquito bites. I wanted to reflect the spiritual peace I found there. Some things make us feel significant (our effect on the world) and some our own insignificance (our place in the world.) This work is more about the latter.
Q: In your piece ‘The Space Between’, you quite literally incorporate yourself into your work by including microscopic images of your own chromosomes and DNA, layered with other organic images. How did this idea initially come about?
As my work and process evolved I started to incorporate more specific or complicated subject matter by collaborating with scientists. It seemed natural to use myself as the source material as I was then able to have more control on the images that were taken by focusing on specific things. All art is to a degree self referential and biographical so the fact that I am part of it is inevitable.
Q: What are some of your other inspirations in different forms of media?
In general, the life around me and anything that I subconsciously pick up on, and more specifically my 3 year old son who has change my outlook on my work and what I create. I have just had a small drawing he made framed and when I come back in October for closing events at the Goss-Michael Foundation I may bring it. After all, it’s a bi-product of the greatest thing I’ve created.
Ed Bartlett, The Future Tense
The Goss-Michael Foundation
All images Copyright © Ekaterina Kouznetsova