The final exhibition to take place at the Arts Gallery, before the building is demolished for Crossrail, is set to be fittingly epic. This is the largest and most ambitious work yet by acclaimed artist Mike Ballard; from 10 December the Arts Gallery will become The All of Everything, a specially commissioned work which will to turn the entire gallery space into an all-encompassing installation covering floors, walls and ceilings featuring the artist’s flamboyant vision of art history.
Transporting the viewer on a supersonic journey through a galaxy of hypermodern and prehistoric art, The All of Everything races back and projects forward through art history, fusing, referencing and sampling at blistering speed.Merging painted floors and walls and a baroque collage ceiling into one gargantuan installation, the gallery will ultimately become one immersive artwork into which the viewer is absorbed. Negotiating the space, the observer becomes a participant in the installation’s embodiment of the eternal loop of life and regeneration; ciphers of the human endeavour to gain and preserve in a continuous trajectory of creation and accumulation.
This immersive experience is rooted in a giant pharaoh head projecting from one wall, within the eyes of which lie two videos secreted away awaiting discovery. A bespoke audio track entitled “The Last Broadcaster” will emit from the kaleidoscopic eye sockets, signifying the end of the beginning and the beginning of the end.
A time capsule hurled from London’s street art scene back through the artist’s personal art historical heritage appropriating aesthetics en route, from plundering the excesses of the Renaissance to sampling the euphoria of pop art, landing temporarily at prehistoric cave art, Ballard’s work calls on muses as disparate as Baroque kings of bling, prehistoric shamans, ancient Egyptian sovereigns, hip hop monarchy, comic book superheroes and the cosmic philosophy of jazz royalty Sun Ra.
Speaking about his ambitions for the work, Ballard comments “as it is the last show at the Arts Gallery, I wanted to go big, to give the gallery a good send off, by acknowledging all of its surfaces, preparing the space before it goes into the ‘other world’. With imagery from my own personal art history and music that has inspired my work, including flamboyant time travellers Sun Ra and RAMM:ELL:ZEE, I have selected guardians for the gallery as it goes to the other side of time.”
Mike Ballard graduated from Central Saint Martins MA Fine Art in 2007. He has recently exhibited at Maddox Arts and the Louise Blouin Institute. Ballard’s work appears in collections including the Richard Greer Collection, LesMes, Espace Uhoda, Belgium and University of the Arts London Art Collection
10 December 2009 – the demolition of the Arts Gallery 2010, 65 Davies Street, W1K 5DA. Open Monday – Friday 10am – 6pm, Saturday 11am – 4pm. Nearest Tube Bond Street. Admission free.
Images (c) the artist
Throwing the house out the window
Galaxy Ray Print