Jack Ball lives in Boorloo (Perth) and they work with photography and
collage to create performative and intimate imagery. Their exhibition Wind Chill is currently on view at the Art Gallery
of Western Australia and brings together the last ten years of their
photographic practice. They are represented by sweet pea.
They have been part of exhibitions such as: the pleasurable, the illegible, the
multiple, the mundane, Artspace Sydney (2021); Love in
Bright Landscapes, PICA (2021); New Matter: Recent forms of
Photography at the Art Gallery of New South Wales (2016), Primavera at the Museum of Contemporary Art (2013)
and Here&Now17: New Photography at Lawrence Wilson
Art Gallery (2017). They have had solo shows at Turner Galleries in Perth
(2019, 2015 and 2013). Jack’s work is held in the collections of the Art
Gallery of New South Wales, Art Gallery of Western Australia, University of
Western Australia, Wesfarmers, the Kerry Stokes Collection and Artbank. They
completed an MFA at RMIT in 2012 and a PhD at Curtin University in 2021.
Images courtesy of the artist and sweet pea.
Some sticky notes by Dee Parker
1. “How do you reckon Dog thinks, because Dog doesn’t know
words?” “Dog knows some words, like ‘mat’ and ‘walkies’ and ‘car’.” “But at a certain point Dog doesn’t have enough words. Dog
might know ‘nummies’ and ‘din din’ but Dog doesn’t know ‘fruit’ and ‘meat.’ “ “But Dog feels fruit and meat differently. Dog acts
differently when eating fruit to when Dog eats meat. Maybe Dog thinks in sensation
and feeling and that explains why Dog is so sage-like lying in the warm grass
right now. Dog is thinking in colours.” “Dogs are colour blind.” “Are they?...” “… Aren’t they?” Meanwhile, Dog, compelled by a flash of light, reflexively
plucks a fly from the air and makes it into nummies. Dog, feeling proud, looks
around for positive feedback but everyone is distracted, making little barkies
at each other. Dog, sighing, lays their head down and wishes Dog wasn’t seen as
a moral lesson all the time.
2. Let’s talk about colours but instead of using the proper names
for colours, let’s change them for other words. For example; In the exhibition ‘Sticky Notes’ by Jack Ball, when the
FINGERNAILS in the photographs darken they tend more towards a lustrous
MACADAMIA. At the same time, the STINKS and CENSORSHIPS compenetrate to make CAMELOT.
3. How many human emotions are there? A quick google and a
click on an unreputable source says there are about 34,000, which is very close
to the number of colours the Super Nintendo could display (32,768). There have been many attempts to understand human emotions
by systematising them as colours. The most famous example, an eight-pronged
star constructed from coloured cells, designed by Robert Plutchik, maps 32
distinct feelings as colours: the purple of loathing, the vigilance of orange,
blue’s surprise and so on. Note to self, could there be a Hex code for feelings?
4. In the 90s Australian drama, Heartbreak High, bad boy
Drazic struggles with reading at school, often disrupting class to avoid
reading aloud. After he realises he has a mild form of dyslexia, a teacher -
consistent with the now discredited understanding of dyslexia at the time - provides
him with a set of coloured filtered lenses to assist with reading. When he lays
them over some words on a typed page his face expresses the blues of sadness
blending with a sunshine of epiphany. ‘Spank’ becomes pink.
5. Sometimes we can spend too much time sitting in one colour. Do
you know people who mostly dance in the red of anger or are trapped in the
bottle green of fear? Do you find it hard to completely trust those that can’t
leave the piss yellow of optimism? Sometimes my own aura changes to other
colours in the presence of the monochromatic. Have a look around the room and you may find the raged
mixing with the joyous, the annoyed and the anticipatory humouring the serene.
We can possess the power to be able to read and adjust the haloes of others,
but like anything else, it’s a power that must be practiced. Becoming an
artist, aesthete, witch or even a good listener takes a lot of time.
6. Time to check in. How are you feeling? Describe this feeling
but instead of the proper words for feelings let’s change them for other words.
For example; Today I woke up feeling very CONTACTLESS CHARGER. I have a
lot of GAIA in my life at the moment and I think this is because the people
I’ve been surrounding myself with are very full of LANGUAGE and TEXT.
7. Towards the end of his life Derek Jarman started losing his
sight due to AIDS related complications. In addition to this the medication he
was on caused him to see as if looking through a blue lens. His film Blue
consists of memories and associations spoken over a single frame of Yves Klein
blue. The same memory is recalled over again, the names of past lovers and
friends are listed like lost books of the New Testament. The things that remain
sticky to us are those that are lost outside of shape, word, colour, fruit and
meat, this is the only way they can repeat on us.
8. Someone told me cats can see ultraviolet light. That is why they
become suddenly alert or surprised sometimes, because they can see the presence
of ghosts who are only visible in this colour spectrum that we can’t access. We
sit around between red and purple, thinking we are alone, when we are
surrounded by the hollow and happy. And this is why cats, distracted by shadowy
house party, are never fully in the room with us. Superior, they wonder how they
could explain to us this rapture with silly sounds like ‘pink’ and ‘purple.’