DOODLES AND ART
Mike Batt has always been active in hands-on art, and usually in tandem with his musical activities. His solo album releases for Sony were usually accompanied by a complex slide presentation which he would create using multiple still (Kodak carousel) projectors. Starting with 8 projector rig, he developed the technique (using a bigger rig for the inserted semi-animated sequences in his TV show Zero Zero) and further expanding it for theatrical use with The Snark. . The 1991 Snark presentation at the Prince Edward Theatre was achieved without a physical set at all, (other than a flying gantry, stairs, gauzes and screens – and hundreds of projectors, both back and front-projecting thousands of slides personally drawn and coloured by Mike, with a small team of colourisation and photographic assistants. It was the most advanced ever use of projection in a theatrical show, at that time. (See “PROJECTS” for more in this).
In his twenties, he would often create his own hand-painted clothing, painting jackets and suits with fabric dye – some examples of which can be seen below.
He has painted several murals for family and friends. In 1996 when he moved to his home Ewshot Hall in Farnham, he painted the music studio control room with clouds and sky effects, taking several weeks to complete the all-round mural , which remained there for twenty years, until the family moved out in 2016.
His drawings, which he describes as doodles because of their casual and often “pointless” raison d’etre are sometimes drawn literally on the back of envelopes and sometimes more formally on art bard or A4 printing paper. They usually have no serious purpose.
Some examples are reproduced below.