About Me

Jac Batey

I’m a contemporary artist from the UK and my work explores the complexities and nuances of British life through the medium of artist's books, printmaking, and collage many of them satirical, under the brand name of Damp Flat Books. By utilizing humour as a tool, I aim to reveal the absurdity and beauty of everyday experiences and the shared humanity that connects us all. I am drawn to (and draw) the intersection of visual communication, illustration, and mental health. My practice focuses on the use of visual narratives and visual interludes as a means of addressing mental health issues, as well as the use of drawing as a research method and coping mechanism.  My artist’s books are held in many permanent collections such as the V&A Museum, Tate Britain, The Getty Institute in Los Angeles, and the Joan Flasch Collection, Chicago and I have attended conferences internationally to present my artist's books and to talk about art-zines and illustration.

I create my own serial Art-Zine called Future Fantasteek! It now runs to over 21 issues and has toured around the world, Future Fantasteek! is collected by many libraries and galleries, including Tate Britain and the British Library. The main themes in this satirical zine are our uneasy relationship with technology, everyday observations, and anxiety. I received an Arts Council funding in 2021 to develop AR within a printed zine.
Future Fantasteek! has its own blog to keep all the issues together.

ART ZINES: ZINEOPOLIS at the University of Portsmouth.
I set up a collection of art zines called Zineopolis that is located within the School of Art and Design at the University of Portsmouth, I also maintain the Zineopolis blog and curate the collection. I delivered a paper at the Books and Publishing conference in Toronto in 2012, which sought to define the genre of the ‘art zine. Most recently I've been focussing on zines including mental health narratives and have presented on this theme and contributed to research projects.

TEACHING: Reader in Illustration at the University of Portsmouth.
I am a Reader in Illustration at the University of Portsmouth where I'm the Course Leader for MA illustration which is focused on socially aware projects that question our place in the world. We provide students with a platform to explore the possibilities of illustration as a medium of social expression. I am also a supervisor and examiner of practice-based PhDs. 

Want to know even more?

The Safe Cigarette - completed in March 2003.
My thesis presented a series of Artist’s Books and Multiples of graphic expressions of anxiety, each informed by a comparative study presented as a sequence of Volumes of the visual strategies used to advertise cigarettes in America in mass-circulation magazines between 1945 and 1964. The thesis was presented as a boxed object containing the eight Volumes (also produced as handmade books), with Gatefolds and 9 Artist’s Books and Multiples. The thesis identifies specific design and illustration solutions in cigarette advertising such as considerations of artwork, photography, layout, typography, characterization, and diagrammatic representation of the process. The conclusions are then used as the basis for 9 books and multiples in which I explore, within my own artwork, the dynamics of visual instruction, and the devices for reassuring the anxious consumer using irony and humour throughout.
Further information here...

This blog is archived by the British Library