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Unconventional Roots: From Engineering to Art
Robert Batt’s journey to art was a winding one, routed through the world of mechanical engineering. It began with an A-level in art, followed by an apprenticeship in mechanical engineering after school. His day job did not stifle his passion for art, and he nurtured it during his spare time.
While his initial artistic endeavours leaned towards painting and drawing, Batt’s background in engineering had a profound influence on his artistic expression. The meticulous attention to detail and precision required in mechanical engineering gave him a unique perspective when approaching art, ultimately pushing him towards sculpture. This intersection of mechanical engineering and art has given birth to a truly distinct style.
Inspiration: A Blend of Fears and Fascinations
Batt’s sources of inspiration stem from his fascination with engineering, both mechanical and biological. His first series of sculptures, inspired by winged creatures in flight, served as a personal form of therapy to combat his own fear of flying. Batt’s approach to art echoes this fascination, distilling complex forms down to their base parts and examining how they interact with precision and purpose.
Artistic Method: A Celebration of Tangibility
Batt now primarily focuses on sculpture, finding the tangible medium more fulfilling due to its multidimensional aspect. His creations employ a variety of materials, such as steel, copper, wood, and stone. With his sculpting methods primarily consisting of carving and welding, Batt is able to translate his engineering expertise into his art, demonstrating a balance between the scientific and the aesthetic.
Current and Favourite Works
Batt is currently working on a flying bird made from welded steel and copper, while his next project will involve carving a cat from alabaster stone. Among his completed works, he cites ‘Tiger Tiger’ as his favorite piece. This prowling tiger, made from welded steel rod and copper, took about 50 hours to complete, measures 12″x4″x5″, and showcases Batt’s distinctive artistic flair.
Exhibitions and Future Endeavours
Robert Batt’s work was first exhibited in a bookshop in Ampthill, Bedfordshire, between 2009 and 2012. Subsequently, his pieces were showcased in a small independent art gallery in Haynes, Bedfordshire, in 2013.
Looking ahead, Batt is planning his most ambitious project yet – a fully functioning automaton. This undertaking embodies his passion for blending art and engineering, promising a complex and innovative piece that will undoubtedly captivate audiences. As he continues to blur the lines between these two disciplines, Batt is poised to leave a unique and indelible mark on the art world.