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5 Things We Learned... Ian Abell



I don't see Ian Abell as often as I'd like to. His travels for work and inspiration take him far and wide, so on the rare occasion when we can cross paths, I know I'm in for a good dose of witty and down-to-earth conversation. My first studio visit with Based Upon was c. 2007-2008. Since then, I've enjoyed watching them expand in scale, crew, media, and influence. Their diverse work roots itself in quality - not only in material, detail, and form, but also in story. Aesthetics aren't just for aesthetics' sake. Nothing is without meaning.

Guided by twin brothers Ian and Richard Abell, Based Upon travels the world to gather narratives, memories, textures, and histories. In the London studio, these grow into sculptural works which look at notions of wholeness and separation, the natural and the manmade. Their recent work into wearables draws attention to wellness and stillness by connecting nature and material to the body. All of these works tell stories: of Based Upon’s own experiences or those of its clients. Each Based Upon work carries the intention of its maker; every piece resonating with the personal or physical landscapes from which it was conceived.

I always look forward to seeing what's next.

Here are 5 Things We Learned about Ian.

What made you...you?

We come in with infinite possibility, but significant likelihood. I am a product of that, while still a work in progress towards what I may become. 

When are you happiest?

When I'm still. Or really active. Ideally in a vast landscape or with my family.

Would you rather have a muse or be a muse?

I don’t fancy either. I’ll settle for being amused.

Who do you admire?

Anyone being true to themself, free of the need for validation or the fear of judgement.

What is important?

Truth and Kindness. And where they conflict.

Follow Ian and Based Upon's work on Instagram @baseduponian / @baseduponself / @basedupon


Images from left to right: Ian Abell; III; Fragmented Crack Coffee Table; Photo taken on the Isle of Inis Oirr; Birth of Tramazite; Blow

All images by Based Upon