Artist Biography - Morag Ballard
Sometimes suggestive of architectural forms and classical geometric pattern, Morag Ballard's modernist work delivers a definite sculptural impact. Spare, clean lines on curved boards or undulating surfaces induce a feeling of calm, while reliefs and collages set out to tease - and challenge - the eye, oscillating between the two- and three-dimensional. Geometric form takes prec...edence over colour, yet the shimmering hues, meticulously applied, imbue the canvases with a lively rhythm.
Born in London in 1961, Morag Ballard studied initially at Chelsea School of Art, London before discovering sculpture at Bath Academy of Art in Corsham. Here she studied under Michael Pennie and Ken Hughes and came into contact with some of the leading British sculptors of the time – including Richard Deacon and Antony Gormley.
Experimenting with the interrelationships between two-dimensional and three-dimensional expressions of form, she used large interior spaces to create bold and individual sculptural installations.
On completing her degree, Morag Ballard was awarded a student internship at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice in 1986, where she found her direction validated by the study of works of the Russian Constructivists, the paintings of Jean Helion and the boxes of Joseph Cornell. In 1983 she was awarded the Gane Trust Travel Scholarship for sculpture, taking her to Carrara, Italy.
On her return to the UK she set up studio in South West Scotland where she began to develop her ideas through paintings, reliefs and boxed constructions – work which led to her first showing at England & Co. London in 1991. A long association with the London gallery followed where her work was exhibited in a number of group and solo shows.
Ballard's work has often felt as though it belonged to the early years of modern art – the world of artists using the constructivist modes of 1930s abstraction. The interrelationship between the two- and three-dimensional, as expressed in the language of constructivism, has always been at the core of Ballard’s art practice.
With her characteristic precision and lightness of touch, Ballard explores the possibilities of relationships between implied spaces using architectural forms. Planar and linear elements combine with advancing and receding manipulations of colour to create complex works that reveal an ambiguous three-dimensionality.
These dynamic yet intangible ‘constructions’ are enlivened with elements of classical geometric pattern which are meticulously wrought in a myriad of combinations. Calm in their exterior presence – quiet, spare and luminous – her works also deliver a robust sculptural impact.
Previously living in Scotland, after her move to Cornwall, elements of the landscape and coastline of the south-west peninsula began to infuse an art practice in tune with the essence of post-war St Ives abstraction - equitable to the likes of Naum Gabo, Peter Lanyon and John Wells.
Her work has been seen at the Royal Academy Summer Show, Cadogan Contemporary, and a series of London Art Fairs. In Autumn of 2013 two of her canvases were selected by Liz Anderson, art editor of 'The Spectator', for inclusion in 'The Discerning Eye' at the Mall Galleries.