Charmaine Ball’s practice is a response to structural elements encountered in the built environment. Architecture and materials – forms, angles, shadows – provide impetus for response. Spanning painting and sculpture, an exploration of line, shape and colour characterises her work. Formal geometric composition is paired with an organic approach that imbues a liveliness to abstraction and points to the process of making and the interior, emotional realm.
Hand-built stoneware clay sculptures explore the boundaries of matter, interrogating the interplay between weight and weightlessness, positive and negative space, light and shadow. Columnal pieces, vessels and sectional horizontal works structurally reference architectural and utilitarian forms. Bisque-fired and left chalkily unglazed, their porous surface gestures to the porousness of clay; their sinuous configuration and delicate edges to the process of hand-building.
Ball’s sculptures are informed by her fascination with the concrete bunkers of World War II, France. Like these ascetic fortifications, her works appear as contained, shut-off realms – spaces that both barricade and confine. However, in her exploration of the intractability of the brutalist forms, Ball adds a softness – heft and austerity is mediated by a fragility. Gaps and small windows provide openings, allowing for light and air to breathe, to escape.
A collection of sculptural vessels coming soon.