Kedela wer kalyakoorl ngalak Wadjak boodjak yaak.

Today and always, we stand on the traditional land of the Whadjuk Noongar people.

Jack Ball Paint box mid-blue 2019 (detail). Photographic rag, 110 x 160 cm. © Jack Ball.

Jack Ball

Artist Showcase
Gallery 08
Until 16 January

Through photography and collage, this artist playfully explores themes of synthesis and queer identity.

Bringing together 10 years of Jack Ball’s practice, Wind Chill layers early photographs with new works continuing their process of undoing and re-making through collage.

The exhibition incorporates a selection of Ball’s works held in the State Art Collection, including photographs of handmade sculptural sets that are suggestive of bodies, landscape, and architecture. Placed in conversation with new work, Ball presents moments of everyday queer intimacy and images of their body in playful performances that navigate gender and self-assemblage.

Ball’s practice involves sifting through their extensive collection of images on hard drives, a massive stash that is difficult to navigate. Ball recalls “Folders buried in folders, folders with impossible time stamps, empty folders titled sensibly, but with the content removed… Every time I open an old drive I end up in a different place”. Rediscovered images are then printed, re-photographed and layered with new materials; a method that allows Ball to craft new narratives from past experiences.

As Ball states, “During this 10-year period, I started thinking about my skin, tissue, hormones, and body hair in the same way I approached paint, plaster, cardboard, and clay—as materials with histories, that are flexible and in process. The exhibition draws from queer, feminist and camp lineages to explore themes of collage, mess, excess, and amateurism within contemporary image-making practices.”

“There has been a cultural turn towards exploring trans representation through abstraction, as a way to question the common assumption that gender is only located on the surface of bodies. Whilst my images are not all abstractions, they play with the relationship between the inside and outside of bodies.” — Jack Ball, The View From Here 2021

Artist Bio

Western Australian photographer Jack Ball holds a Masters of Fine Art (RMIT University 2012) and a PhD (Curtin University 2021) and is recognised for their work nationally. Ball has exhibited in the pleasurable, the illegible, the multiple, the mundane, Artspace, Sydney; New Matter: Recent forms of Photography, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney; Primavera 2013 at the MCA, Sydney NSW; Dusk to Dark at the Queensland Centre for Photography; The Photograph as Contemporary Art in Berlin, Germany; HERE&NOW17 at LWAG, Perth WA; and Remix: WA Contemporary Art at the Art Gallery of Western Australia, amongst others. Their practice is globally connected not only through their exhibition history, but also through their outward gaze, openness to discovery, and participation in studio residencies at PICA in Perth, SIM in Iceland, and the Sillanpää Art Residency in Finland. Their works are held in the collections of the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Art Gallery of Western Australia, Artbank, Wesfarmers, the Kerry Stokes Collection, and the University of Western Australia.

Read more