Abstract Art with Adam Ball

Posted: 17th February 2023

Categories: Girls

Last week Eaton House The Manor Girls’ School welcomed internationally renowned artist, Adam Ball, to lead a talk about abstract art. Adam has exhibited around the world, including a collaboration with fashion designer L’Wren Scott at the Gagosian, New York, and one of the largest paintings ever to be exhibited, The Tree, in Golden Square, London.

Our usually chatty girls were quiet as mice listening to Adam explain how art can be so much more than a painted portrait or landscape. They were amazed by the ‘Op Art’ that seemed to move and change on the page and were very excited to have go at making their own Valentine’s Day themed optical illusions. The girls were fascinated by Adam’s examples of modern art, including Damien Hirsts’ famous shark tank piece, The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living. They asked lots of questions about why the piece was considered to be art, and where the shark had come from!

Adam talked to the pupils about his own artistic journey, and how he expresses feelings and concepts through abstract work. The girls particularly enjoyed seeing his cutout and lightbox pieces, and were interested to hear about how coloured light can be used to reflect and affect mood. For example, one of Adam’s recent works, entitled Until the day you feel good, was commissioned for the exterior of the new Royal Papworth Hospital, Cambridge, to soothe patients entering the building using colour changing light. The work was initially created from large sections of white fabric, hand-cut with surgical scalpels, which were then photographed and screen-printed onto glass, and backlit by a bespoke lighting system. Our pupils learnt all about the perils of creating cutout pieces; imagine accidentally cutting through the wrong part of your paper after weeks of careful cut work!