A to Z: The First Seven Years

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Documentation of solo exhibition A to Z: The First Seven Years at Gallery Oldham, Manchester, UK, Nov 2018 to Mar 2019.

Dave Ball always wanted to make art about the world. The problem was though, that the world was frustratingly large and complex. Where could he possibly begin? In 2011 Ball embarked upon his project of visualising every word in the Concise Oxford English dictionary in alphabetical order. Starting with “aardvark”, and limiting himself to words he already knew the meaning of, a total of around 10,000 visualisations would need to be made, taking an estimated 35 years to complete.

A to Z: The First Seven Years presented the first three instalments of the A to Z project:

•   A to Z: From Aardvark to Axle, which comprises 461 drawings of the “A” words;

•   A to Z: Babble to Byte (from Memory), a sequence of 479 “B” drawings made without the aid of any visual source material;

•   A to Z: All the Cs (Through the Lens of My Camera), which features 831 photographs of words beginning with “C”.