“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
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We took a few excerpts from an interview Adam did with 1xRun and found it of great interest. To see the full interview, click here.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
To see our studio visit with Adam, please click on video below.
- Born: 1988, Norfolk UK
- Lives: Suffolk, UK
- Education: BA (Hons) Norwich University College of the Arts, Norwich 2006 – 2009
- Artsablon, Antiqves Prové/ JFK Gallery, Brussels, Belgium, 2017
- Art for Tibet, Tibet House, NYC, USA, 2017
- Unnatural Histories 5, Antler Gallery, Portland, OR, USA, 2016
- Into The Deep Woods, Paper Gallery, Manchester, UK 2016
- Into The Deep Woods, Heimspiel, Basel, Switzerland 2016
- Into The Deep Woods, Leo 15, Lucerne, Switzerland, 2016
- Group Show, Nahcotta, Portsmouth NH, USA 2016
- Natural Causes, CASS Contemporary, Tampa FL, USA, 2016
- Brink, Antler, Portland OR, USA, 2016
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Born in Norfolk in 1988, Adam Batchelor studied Illustration at Norwich University of the Arts and graduated in 2009. After an exploratory experience In Nepal he began making work in late 2010.
Having previously focused on bold graphic self initiated projects and sculptural model work whilst studying illustration, upon graduation he began to teach himself how to create realistic imagery using only mechanical pencils and coloured pencils on paper.
A nature lover and farmer’s son, he currently lives and works in the countryside near Norwich, UK, where he also works as a illustrator for clients including: XL Records, The Wellcome Trust, Suhrkamp, Fool Magazine, Faesthetic, Christian Aid & Adbusters.