About the Artwork

Rough Neck Business is made up of hoardings sourced from several sites across London. They include green hoardings from the Olympic Park, and blue hoardings from Dalston and Hackney Wick. All of these sites have seen great changes over recent years, and have been surrounded by hoardings for quite some time.

As with all of the artist’s sculptures, Mike Ballard is interested in taking this material, that normally represents a threshold of ownership and protection of property, and transforming it from sheet form into a 3d structure of its own, to be admired for its un-painterly qualities and the ‘witness marks’ of the time it stood on the street.

Year: 2019

Copyright the artist. Photo: © Nick Turpin


Found wooden hoardings


331 x 243 x 290cm

Artist Biography

Mike Ballard

Born 1972, London. Lives and works in London. Recent shows include: ‘Gutter Snipe’ at The Bomb Factory Art foundation, ‘Adapt the collapse’ Union Gallery London, Royal Academy summer exhibition 2018, 2020 winner of the Jack Goldsmith award for Sculpture, KARST Projects Plymouth. "My work is inspired by the abstract compositions found in the urban environment, and the territorial gestures that divide public and private space. I am fascinated by the visual noise that the City’s infrastructure presents. The textural qualities in my paintings are the result of sequences of individual processes layered together to emulate the effect of time – weathering. The entropic state of the city is found in the margins, in the unmaintained and uninhabited places, I often frequented as a teenager exploring my city. My eye is drawn to the detritus, the residue and the accidental layering of signs and symbols of paints, varnish and stickers, be they instruction or advert. The paintings are laced with the formal translation of these processes using processes of my own - photography, photocopy, adhesion, saturation, abrasion and addition. In the development of this work I’m not simply recreating a found image, I am making a visual commentary on the forces of urbanity that negate, displace and corrode."