1xRun Thru Interview
Happiness by Adam Batchelor
1xRun: Tell us a little bit about these two pieces, are the originals still for sale?
Adam Batchelor: Both original pieces are still available here on 1xRUN. The ‘Happiness’ series is a collection of ongoing drawings that have been doing. They are consumerist mandalas and they resemble the wheel of life for the western world. The objects that consume our lives from the day we are born are both sustaining and destructive.
Initially inspired by Buddhist mandalas, these circular drawings depict consumerism as a new form of worship. These drawings are basically a critique on our dependency to consumerism, but created in a beautiful, detailed and caring way, it’s not all bad. Each product, drawn with mechanical pencils and coloured pencils is roughly 1.5 cm in width and with it’s profound purpose and meaning rotates around the new born baby, ready to begin it’s life and it’s relationship with these objects.
1xRun: Was this piece part of a recent theme, series or show that you had? If so how did it fit into that given grouping?
Adam Batchelor: Both these drawings are variations on my ongoing Mandala series, I wanted to explore some aesthetical ideas with the circular drawings, for ‘Happiness Forever’ I wanted an explosion of colour, but in a controlled way, I arranged the products in the order of the roygbiv colour spectrum. For ‘Happiness Eternal’ I wanted more of a darker, clinical & pharmaceutical approach. By exploring these variants I can see how far I can go with these consumer mandalas.
1xRUN: When were these pieces created and with what materials ?
Adam Batchelor: Both were made in spring and summer of 2013 using pencil & coloured pencil on fine art paper. The pencil I use the most is a Pental PG2 mechanical pencil 0.2mm for fine detail, a 0.3mm mechanical pencil and a Technograph pencil to smooth out shading, for colouring I use Caran d’Ache supracolor II soft and Karisma coloured pencils and lay the colour down first, usually building up from light to dark and applying the shading and pencil work last. The paper used for these drawings is Fabriano Artistico (Watercolour paper) HP (smooth grain) 190gsm, cut circular by hand.
1xRun: Anything you would like to highlight about these pieces?
Adam Batchelor: I actually spent so much time working out the original of ‘Happiness Eternal’ that I caused an injury to my hand, by drawing too much. The doctor suggested I stop working so much and told me to go on holiday.
1xRun: Tell us how the idea and execution came about?
Adam Batchelor: The initial idea came from messing about in my studio in 2012, the usage of the mandala felt like a good way to discuss consumerism. It came about quite spontaneously.
1xRun: How long did these piece take?
Adam Batchelor: Happiness Forever took about 3 weeks and Happiness Eternal took about a month and a half to finish.
1xRun: What is unique about these pieces compared to your other work?
Adam Batchelor: I feel that they directly address our relationship with consumerism in a way that is visually different to my other work, which I have really enjoyed, to be able to separate my interests into different styles of work, by doing this I am able to switch my focus from one thing to the next quite quickly and hopefully this will help me develop into a more multi-disciplinary artist.
1xRun: Why should people buy one of these prints?
Adam Batchelor: I think they are visually striking pieces of work, the prints help highlight the extreme detail in the drawings, they can be seen as both beautiful and bold but with a significant underlying message.
1xRun: Describe these pieces in one gut reaction word.
Adam Batchelor: Mesmerizing.
1xRun: What have you been up to since your last RUN with us, bring us up to speed on what you’ve been doing.
Adam Batchelor: I did a lot of Illustration work, exhibited in London a couple of times and spent summer and autumn in between the UK and Norway, where I was living on a farm out in the forest, doing research for some new drawings and exploring how to get into making some sculptural work. I’ve been painting as well, one is currently exhibiting in Singapore with Kult3d. My work was also featured in a great book on drawing, which is available to buy now. The books called Walk the Line and can be picked up at Magma Books.
1xRun: As 2014 is getting going here what are your plans for the next 2-3 months here?
Adam Batchelor: I’m trying to plan another trip to the wild, last year I spent a few months on and off in Norway, it turned out to be a really important experience! I would to visit somewhere remote in America, but there are just too many cool places to decide from.
1xRun: Any artists who have been particularly inspiring you lately?
Adam Batchelor: Cai Guo Qiang, his work with animals and old Viking ships are really inspiring stuff. His show at QAGOMA in Australia looks brilliant.
1xRun: Any new music you have really been liking as of late?
Adam Batchelor: The new Burial EP, Rival Dealer.
1xRun: What was the last piece of art that you bought?
Adam Batchelor: I did an art swap with artist Anthony Zinonos.