A quarterly art and literature journal with a reputation for controversy and a well established record for spotting young writers and artists.
Ambit was founded in London in 1959 by the paediatrician and novelist Dr Martin Bax. During the 1970s and 80s the editorial board included the sculptor Eduardo Paolozzi and writer J.G. Ballard. Paolozzi's interest in the fusion of image making and literature and Ballard's prose style were both inspired by surrealism. Adopting surrealist collage techniques, Ambit became a testing ground for their experimental ideas, which typically combined literary prose with mass media images.
Between the years 1976 and 1983, Helen Chadwick made several appearances in the magazine, with photographs from her exhibition and performance works, In the Kitchen (1977), Domestic Sanitation (1978-89), Train of Thought (1978-89) and Ego Geometria Sum (1983).
In 1965 Bruce McLean (who was in his final year as a student of sculpture at St Martins School of Art) created six black and white ink 'drawings for a sculpture' accompanied by a 'found photograph' of a glamour model for Ambit No.24. The Library holds issues of the magazine from the 60s, 70s and 80s; those that include works by Helen Chadwick are held in the archive.
In 2011 Liz Stainforth (University of Leeds) was awarded the Henry Moore Institute MA Collections Essay Prize for her essay on Ambit titled A 'revelation of unexpected associations': J.G. Ballard, Eduardo Paolozzi and Helen Chadwick in Ambit, which is held in the Research Library collection.