Fay Ballard was born in 1957 and brought up by her father, the novelist JG Ballard, in Shepperton, Middlesex. Her mother died suddenly of pneumonia on holiday in Spain in 1964 when Fay was seven.
Fay studied History of Art at Sussex University in the late 1970s and worked at the Museum of London, Royal Academy of Arts and Tate Gallery until 2000, where she was closely involved in the creation of Tate Modern. Whilst raising a young family, she decided to retrain, taking a diploma in botanical painting at the Chelsea Physic Garden, a foundation in art & design, and completing a MA in Fine Art at Central Saint Martin’s in 2006. She was commissioned to paint flora at Highgrove for HRH The Prince of Wales, and her drawings of plant portraits have been exhibited widely, including the Royal Academy of Arts, the Museum of Gardening History and the New York School of Interior Design. Her work is found in collections including HM The Queen, HRH The Prince of Wales and the Dr Shirley Sherwood collection of botanical art. She also served as a trustee of Camden Arts Centre and the Victoria Miro Education Trust.
The death of her father in 2009 became the catalyst for change in her work. Returning to the empty family home, Fay began to draw her mother from found photographs as well as family possessions which evoked strong personal memories. This is the first time these recent drawings have been shown.