Affordable Art Fair is returning to beautiful Battersea Park for a bumper 20th anniversary edition, 17 – 20 October. In the run up to this extra special Battersea Autumn fair we caught up with Becky Blair from FOUR-WALLS, the artist at the centre of our all-new campaign, to give us an insight into her inspiring life and work.
What’s a typical day in your studio like?
To start my day off I have a little settling in routine; involving coffee, music and incense. It's usually a slow start but once my creative head is warmed up, the day unfolds surprisingly quickly. I work on a selection of canvases at any one time. I usually leave when the light fades, as I can't work well in electric light.
How would you describe your style of work?
I would describe my work as colourful and joyful, which I hope to capture magic with. I have always liked the literary term, 'magical realism' and I think that it describes my style quite well.
WOULD YOU SAY THAT YOUR WORK REFLECTS YOUR LIFE AND EXPERIENCES?
Since early 2016, my work has been hugely influenced by my experience of wellbeing. In the summer of 2014 I got really sick. I went from being fit, healthy and active to house bound. Walking more than 20 meters was exhausting and I was in constant pain. Even whilst sleeping there was no respite, as I would wake myself up screaming out in pain. It took 6 months before I was finally diagnosed with Lupus. Thanks to the care, medication, and many lifestyle changes, I am now in good health again. This experience, although deeply harrowing at the time, has expanded my love and appreciation of life and has been my main inspiration.
WHAT DO YOU FEEL YOUR WORK COMMUNICATES ABOUT YOU?
My work conveys the joy of being alive, of being able to move, dance, laugh, touch, eat and the ability to experience the world through all of your senses. I believe it is important to embrace your humanity and to appreciate that life is fleeting, so we must embrace and rejoice in it whilst we can.
IS IT IMPORTANT TO YOU THAT PEOPLE ARE AWARE OF THE MEANING BEHIND YOUR WORKS?
I don't think it's important because people love the work due to its vibrancy and uplifting nature. Although, I do feel that it adds to the experience if people understand the context behind an artist’s work. I have spoken with buyers of my work, and those that have also experienced difficult times have found that my recent pieces resonate with them.
WHAT CAN WE EXPECT TO SEE FROM YOU AT BATTERSEA AUTUMN?
The work I am producing for this fair is influenced by my ongoing love affair with mono-printing. On the printing plate, I create palettes of emotive colour. I then incorporate my motifs and figures that have evolved through playful studies in ink. I am interested in finding a subtle balance between gestural abstract composition that alludes to a space that can then be inhabited by the suggestion of a figure.
The inspiration for this collection of paintings is drawn from a perfect English summer and blissful memories of late balmy evenings on the South Coast. Though my process is multi-layered and rigorous, the aim is to arrive at a place where the colour, line and composition work effortlessly and in harmony.
My overall aim is to express joy and small hints of humour in my paintings, I am always seeking something new that sparks a feeling of excitement. The ability to bring joy through art is something I value very highly and is a very important aspect of what motivates me to be creative.
BEHIND THE BATTERSEA CAMPAIGN
A note from our Lead Global Designer, Emma Dakeyne, about the escapism that can be found in Becky’s work:
“Our Battersea Autumn campaign 2019 is inspired by the lively and eclectic style of Becky Blair. We love the influence of travel on her work, as well as her appreciation of indigenous motifs in beautiful natural settings. Her artwork whisks us away to different cultures and communities – taking us on a mini-break from everyday life each time we look at it.”
If you’re as inspired by Becky’s story as we are, don’t miss the opportunity to see her works for yourself at Battersea Autumn with FOUR-WALLS. Join us for our 20th anniversary fair, and discover the joy of collecting art! Book your tickets now »
Studio photography courtesy of Becky Blair.
Becky Blair, Seaside Jungle, acrylic on canvas, original, 95 x 80cm, £2,500, FOUR-WALLS.
Becky Blair, To The Sea, acrylic on canvas, original, 100 x 100cm, £3,500, FOUR-WALLS.
Becky Blair, The Level, monoprint, original, 36 x 36cm (unframed), £600, FOUR-WALLS.
Campaign photography by John Wright, Motel Studios.