“Taking influence from social injustices and issues throughout the world, my work explores the breakdown and conflict between humanity, the man-made and the natural world, and looks into the ever rapid transition of developing cultures. I introduce themes of capitalism and consumerism and highlight the threat these have on global issues such as the rights for Indigenous people, the agricultural industry, corruption, health, war and conflict. The work is predominantly created using mechanical and coloured pencils to produce intricate, evocative drawings with a subtle political punch. The drawings are meticulously reproduced from appropriated imagery to appear real. The work addresses the relationships we form to make sense of the world around us and meanders between the real, the socioeconomic, the hyper-real and the fake.” – Adam Batchelor
1xRUN Thru Interview
Gardenerism by Adam Batchelor
1xRUN: Tell us a little bit about the Gardernism series, what materials did you use to create these pieces?
Adam Batchelor: Pencil & Coloured pencil on 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. Both are still available for sale, along with some other originals available here at 1xRUN.
1xRun: When were these pieces drawn and created? How long did each piece take?
Adam Batchelor: May and June 2012. Each piece took on and off roughly between 2 to 3 weeks to complete. Gardenerism was created in October and November 2012 and took just over a month of nearly continuous work to complete.
1xRun: What is unique about these pieces compared with your past work?
Adam Batchelor: Visually it’s very different to my other drawings. The others encompass a lot of space around the work and these make full use of the space.
1xRun: Why should people buy these prints?
Adam Batchelor: Whilst being visually pleasing and intricate in it’s detailing of products. The drawing looks at very interesting and fundamentally important concepts within a culture where consumption has become vital to a child’s upbringing.
1xRun: Describe these pieces in one gut reaction word.
Adam Batchelor: Kaleidoscope.
1xRun: When did you first start making art?
Adam Batchelor: All my life, been taking it seriously for the past 2 years now. I studied Illustration at Art School and whilst I was making illustration based work, I also made models and sculpture, which didn’t really get anywhere, I then did some volunteering in Nepal where i lived with a family for a while and helped continue in the construction of a school, after I came back I made this drawing of a child from a tribe in kenya holding a baseball bat and really felt I was on to something that I could use to voice my opinions and ideas about the world today.
1xRun: What artists inspired you early on?
Adam Batchelor: Artists like Jean-Michael Basquiat, Philip Guston and Donald Judd, Sol Lewitt, minimalism has always been a big inspiration to me, but they don’t necessary directly inspire my work. When I was younger I was really inspired by street art, stuff like Faile and Swoon. Istvan Banyai is probably my favourite illustrator.
1xRun: What artists inspire you now?
Adam Batchelor: Right now it’s been about political art and activism. Most of my work is just inspired by global issues and events and how i can combine things together to highlight ideas of make a certain type of statement. Here are a few that I find to be amazing: Ai Weiwei, Andrea Bowers, Mona Hatoum , also, Michael Joo Damien Hirst and Ji Dachun.
1xRun: Do you listen to music while you work? If so what? If not then what is your environment like when you work?
Adam Batchelor: I will either listen to podcasts, Al Jazeera or a TV show that i can have in the background and faze in and out of, it helps me concentrate surprisingly. Music can be anything from Benji B & Gilles Peterson radio shows, I’m a big trip-hop fan, well into stuff like Unkle & Massive Attack, also really like Jazz, Charlie Parker is awesome.
1xRun: If you could collaborate with any living artist who would it be and why? Any deceased artists?
Adam Batchelor: No idea!When i get really old I want to be an abstract painter like Philip Guston or Cy Twombly.
1xRun: What was the first piece of art that you bought? Do you still have it? The last piece?
Adam Batchelor: I didn’t actually buy it, i traded two drawings for it. It’s a caddis fly larvae case made out of Gold and precious stones by a french artist called Hubert Duprat. The caddis fly larvae naturally makes these domicile structures in the wild out of what is available in the river bed, and the artist takes these larvae’s and puts them in a tank full of gold and precious stones, emeralds, rubys etc and they build these amazing cases. It is actually a collaboration between the artist and nature. It’s really small as well and it amazes me every time i look at it, conceptually and visually. The last would be a piece that I inherited, this really old Buddha statue, if that counts.
1xRun: What else have you been up to and what do you have in the works?
Adam Batchelor: I ended 2012 really well, In November and December, I exhibited Pharmatopia and Pharmacopeia in Paris and Gardenerism in Miami.
So far in 2013 I’ve got a few illustration jobs lined up including a book cover project for Kult3d magazine, making original artwork for a magazine created by ChristianAid and I’ve been working on T-shirt designs for a UK based clothing label. I’ve also got some work featured in a couple of magazines including Adbusters, EARTH quarterly and spanish based Lamono magazine. I also might have potential exhibitions in Vancouver and LA.