Artist Statement

My art comprises sculpture, paintings, drawings and monoprints - and is not likely to be limited to those materials! I embrace the study of ideas and the human form in various media.

“Warriors not worriers” is a central theme of my work, coupled with a celebration of Women’s strength and ethereal qualities.

It is up to us to provide strength and protection in order to live life gracefully. We must have a positive attitude to spread hope, peace and joy. My warriors portray quiet strength, power & hope through strong features and expression. I adopt indigenous names to capture the raw essence and indicate the meaning of the work. We have been given a moment in time to reflect on our impact on others and the world. Life drawing and the sculpting of figures and faces requires and gives us permission to stare. To focus in. We strive to understand other people and imagine how it is to live their lives. It is the fine details and nuances that define a person and what it is they are about.

My art includes figures and faces that are largely realistic but not conforming to any particular people, nationality or indigenous culture. My work is informed by studies in life drawing and my drawing & painting process is one of effectively sculpting onto the page. As I build-up, mould and carve out the forms, I truly enter into my flowstate and then the fun begins. I often work with clay as it naturally lends itself to the forming of faces and bodies and for defining muscle structure. It is highly malleable and easy to manipulate to capture human gesture. I begin with no firm intention of what I will create. My process is to form a basic model and let the character intuitively emerge. What emerges comes from deep within. When you resonate with one of my pieces it reflects that same deep sense within you. Our connection. I create pieces that are aesthetically pleasing to bring positivity, peace and joy.

Clay also naturally connects us to nature. It is born of the earth. Living a natural life with close connections to nature and our environment is integral to our existence. Promoting our connection to Nature, celebrating the wonder of the earth, rivers, seas & oceans and raising environmental concerns in a non-threatening and gentle way, protects the future for our children. Faces and gestural figures convey human attributes and evoke emotions and feelings. We support family and friends through listening and showing kindness, respect and promoting the sharing of collective wisdom. Celebrate the special qualities that different people possess and bring to our lives.

About me...

I have always been drawn to clay. My first endeavours, and very happy memories, were making mud pies with my sister when we were very young children. My lifelong passion for ceramics and life drawing & painting stems from high school days. I have devoted most of the years between then and now to business life and raising my three wonderful children, but pursuit of my art has never been far away. I have undertaken may adult education courses and workshops to learn skills and open my mind to creative processes. I now have the freedom to focus on my core beliefs and
passions and am fully engaged in my art.

I moved to Wanaka with my family and our golden retriever in 2016 to create a new adventure. We have a natural affinity to this beautiful place – the dramatic landscape and close proximity to the mountains, rivers and lakes feeds our souls. I have always been a greenie (conservationist). Outdoor pursuits are key to my lifestyle, including mountain walking, tramping, skiing, backcountry skiing, biking and body surfing. I thrive on organizing and going on diverse and varied adventures and enjoy learning about other cultures.

I am drawn to the meaning of names. My children (the centre of my universe!) were named for these qualities:

Howard - braveheart   Zoe - life force   Hugo – of heart and mind

I know that I am not always very observant in terms of the big picture and my surroundings. I tend to focus in on the smaller details. You are invited to stare at my pieces, to study them intimately and imagine their lives. Define their story for yourself.

Everything will be OK

Studio Space

My studio is a separate enclosure at the back of my home. I usually have the door open and enjoy the sun and sounds of nature as I work.

I get outside most days as I thrive on physical activity and being in nature. When I get back I open my studio, turn on my music and almost immediately enter my flowstate. Hours can pass by unnoticed as I work on my pieces. My very happy place.

I have an electric kiln and I strive to keep my space clean and uncluttered and recycle clay and glazes.

I hope you enjoy my work.

Tina Ball