Christopher John Ball BA (Hons) MA is a widely exhibited and published, award winning, London based, fine arts photographer, writer, campaigner, reviewer, publisher, curator, arts juror and lecturer. With over 30 years experience as an artist – his work is held within public and private collections worldwide and he is, together with Paul Woods, co-founder of The Association of Erotic Artists – an international academic and campaigning body committed to working towards the acceptance of the erotic arts whilst defending the genre from the dual threats of censorship and intolerance.
After several years within a commercial photographic background, including running his own studio, Chris became increasingly drawn to the use of photography as a fine arts medium and this, along with exploring the role of the arts within the community and education, has been the direction his work has taken him. In the 1980’s Chris was a founder member of ‘Action Factory’ – a community arts group, based in Lancashire, created with the aim of democratising and expanding the role of the arts within the community – in particular amongst disadvantaged groups. Given that he has been disabled since youth – Chris maintains an active role in the campaign to promote disability awareness and rights.
His artwork, views and opinions are very much in demand and he has contributed articles on photography, the arts, politics, philosophy and other topics for various international publications and media outlets. His images have been showcased in Italian, German, Spanish, Hong Kong SAR, British and mainland Chinese publications and displayed within the pages of several respected online galleries. He has also been interviewed, and filmed at work, for Television programmes that have been transmitted across Europe, the USA and Great Britain.
Christopher was selected as a juror for both the 2008/09 ‘Erotic Signature’ annual international arts competition and the ‘Erotic Review Photographer of the Year Prize 2009.‘ In 2011 Chris sat on the international Jury for the 2011 ’12 inches of Sin’ competition and juried exhibition sponsored by the Sin City Gallery, Las Vegas and organised by Dr Laura Henkel. The 2012 ’12 inches of Sin’ juried exhibition saw Chris sitting on the selection committee of what is becoming a prestigious annual diary entry for artists.
Drawing inspiration from philosophy, politics, film and music; Chris believes that how we see ourselves – alongside our objectification by the camera, society and the state – takes the form of an existential rationale and his work is an attempt to explore this belief. 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 so as to create a visual narrative.
Rarely working from studios – the choice of everyday locations for his photographs is a deliberate intent to emphasise a mundane theatricality. In addition he often uses non-conventional photographic equipment – such as pin-hole, Holga, Diana, home-made, adapted and vintage cameras – and alternative photographic processes, such as the cyanotype, to create a specific aesthetic.
In addition to his teaching and photographic work; Chris also works in film and theatre. ”Throwing Stones” was co-written by Christopher John Ball and Dean Sipling and performed at the Greenwich Playhouse. ‘Throwing Stones’ is to be published in an updated version on 1st November 2013 and the pair are at work on several new projects.
“Mid-life male photographer meets young, nubile female student-cum-artistic muse – so far its old hat. But photographer turned playwright Christopher John Ball and co-writer Dean Sipling, whose background is film and television, bring the pairing into a thoroughly contemporary world of intercepted emails, sinister insinuation and sharp retorts. Their ‘guilty until proved innocent’ plot … is thoroughly watchable and believable – perhaps as a result of Ball’s professional insights and DS Dom Lucas’ services as police advisor to the production.” – Barbara Lewis – The Stage
You can view examples of his artworks at http://www.christopherjohnball.co.uk/