Mixed Tapes

Contemporary painter Grant Foster on J.G. Ballard

(Mixed Tapes is an introductory series to Art Fictions recorded in lockdown with variations in audio quality.)

Ambit are delighted to host an exclusive long-form edit of Art Fictions with the artist Grant Foster.

Art Fictions is a podcast which explores the art of stories and stories of art. Artists are invited to join a discussion with artist and writer, Jillian Knipe, about their artwork through the lens of a piece of fiction selected by them.

Ambit has chosen to host to share this podcast because of the magazine’s association with JG Ballard who was a contributor and editor of the magazine over many years.

The painter Grant Foster selects and discusses the influence of ‘The Atrocity Exhibition’ by JG Ballard, first published by Jonathan Cape UK, 1970. 

Considering Ballard often referred to parallels with painters, it seems natural that an artist might return the gesture, drawing on the author’s work to feed his own practice.

Both artist and writer embrace in equal measure the freedom, fear and disappointment that results from the individual being a fragmented composition, vulnerable to manipulation and capable of dynamic reconfiguration. In hope and despair, Grant points out that there is the possibility that ‘true form’ can be found ‘beneath the lie; beneath the sludge’.

Youth Serum‘ (2018)
Glue, oil stick and pigment on collaged canvas and polyester
195 x 177 cm
Love Beyond Everyday Words‘ (2018)
Acrylic, pastel and oil stick on collaged canvas
199 x 177 cm
The Beast with Two Backs‘ (2020)
Oil and pastel on panel
80 x 60 cm

Read this short story by Ballard in Ambit 96 (1984): The Secret Autobiography of JG B******

Grant Foster (b.1982, Worthing, UK) studied BA Fine Art at University of Brighton (2001-04) and MA Painting at the Royal College of Art, London (2010-12). Recent solo exhibitions include: I’m Not Being Funny, Lychee One, London (2019); Grant Foster, Trade Gallery, Nottingham (2018) and Ground, Figure, Sky, Tintype, London (2017). He was the John Moores 25 Prizewinner in 2008 and was awarded a Fellowship of Contemporary Art at the British School at Rome in 2016. grantfoster.org/

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