Artist Statement - Christopher John Ball
"Beauty is unbearable, drives us to despair,
offering us for a minute the glimpse of an eternity that we should
like to stretch out over the whole of time." Albert Camus
Drawing inspiration from philosophy, film, music and
disability politics; Christopher John Ball believes that how we see
ourselves, alongside our objectification by the camera, society and
the state, takes the form of an existential challenge and his work
is an exploration of this rationale. Whilst his work covers both social
documentary and fine art, his methodology is consistent throughout.
His images explore and play with the 'sense of distance',
'lack of access', the 'mundane banality of modern life'. The themes
of a 'sense of distance' and 'lack of access' have become increasingly
important to Christopher as his disability deteriorates. The reaction
of 'others' to a visible impairment can often be hostile leaving one
feeling an 'outsider' 'looking in' and 'kept out'.
Given that he is also a writer, and because he sees
in photography a strong link to literature, it should come as no surprise
to find that his photographs are often made to work in series, rather
than individual images, so as to create a visual narrative.
Whilst having embraced the digital world, Christopher
much prefers the organic qualities offered by film. He uses a variety
of equipment including 35mm SLR, 120 TLR, pin-hole, Holga, Diana,
home-made, adapted and vintage cameras. He is also drawn to the use
of alternative photographic processes, such as the cyanotype, and
he will often scratch and bleach negatives to create a distressed
Rarely working from studios; the choice of everyday
locations for his fine art nude imagery is a deliberate intent to
emphasise a mundane theatricality.
"Life has no meaning a priori… It is up to
you to give it a meaning, and value is nothing but the meaning that
you choose" Jean-Paul Sartre