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Jacqueline Ball succeeds with artwork about uncertainty

News story

On the Museum of Contemporary Art’s wall in Sydney are a series of eight photographic prints.

Jacqueline Ball's artwork
Jacqueline Ball's artwork at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney, Australia.

When you first see them, you try to figure out what they are photographs of. The human body? A rocky landscape?

The artist responsible, Curtin PhD student Jacqueline Ball, is happy with this response.

“I want the artwork to make people ask questions,” she said.

Jacqueline’s Fluctuate series is part of the MCA’s exhibition Primavera 2013, the annual showcase of young Australian artists. A piece from the work, Fluctuate #4 was a finalist for the 2013 Bowness Photography Prize. Her last work Bliss is also currently showing at the University of Western Australia’s Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery.

But it isn’t as easy as snapping a shot. Her prints depict a landscape of textured objects that she creates in her studio. She takes months to create each work, first designing, drawing and planning and then making moulds for casting. The next stage is building the objects and sets and then taking “thousands” of photos until she finds the right one. The Fluctuate series took four months.

“I sit there, looking through all the photos, noticing the little differences and then comparing them to the other prints in the series before I decide,” she said.

When she was an undergraduate, Jacqueline found that documenting the world around her wasn’t enough and she started creating her own part-organic, part-architectural landscapes to photograph.

“I had an amazing Honours supervisor, Ms Annette Seeman,” she said. The Curtin lecturer now supervises Jacqueline’s PhD on how one can use photographic methods to create a sense of uncertainty in photomedia work.

Jacqueline hasn’t paused after creating Fluctuate. She is currently drawing and planning her next two works – one in Brisbane in March and one in Melbourne in August – and planning another residency in Iceland.

“The ideas for Fluctuate developed from the research I undertook in Iceland and Finland,” she said of her two previous residencies.

But she is firmly attached to Perth. “It’s nice to travel to show your art and for residencies,” she said. “But I want to be a Western Australian artist.

“It’s a pretty good place to work.”

For further information:
MCA’s Primavera Exhibition 2013
Monash Gallery of Art’s 2013 Bowness Photography Prize finalists
Jacqueline Ball’s website

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