Work in Progress
at The Burton Gallery, CCCU Broadstairs, Northwood Road, Broadstairs, CT102WA
Unremarkable Stories: 1st March 2012 6.30-8.00pm Private View
Public viewing from 2nd March 2012 - 25th May 2012
Far from unremarkable, Rob Ball presents an unsettling dislocation between memory
and actuality, presenting the past through contemporary photographic practice.
This publication and associated exhibition focuses on Ball’s 2011 return to the
modest Essex urbanscape of his teenage years. Neither tender nor critical,
Unremarkable Stories forensically documents the prosaic spaces of his youth.
Whilst his landscapes ostensibly might depict the banal, the specificity of
space nevertheless remains significant; likewise Ball registers the fierce potency
of memory when discussing his return:
…I feel it all coming back; building dens, sitting under the bridge smoking,
scouring the landscape for porno mags and most of all, hanging around because
there’s nothing to do here. The park was our haven – the only place where we would
be left alone.
In rejecting idealised versions of childhood,
we are instead reminded of endless hours spent simply occupying spaces empty of adults.
In Rob Ball’s photographs within the anonymity of the park’s hinterland or the
blandness of the Essex suburban architecture, we are treated to diminutive highlights
of hue. But these glints of colour, far from being generated by some sort of natural
beauty, are rather the consequence of careless youthful disregard. Litter litters each
photograph: the orange plastic shopping bag, the part submerged blue bicycle frame,
the flash of crimson from a discarded coca cola can. Rob Ball’s Unremarkable Stories
makes strange the everyday – the antithesis of ‘showy’, these works quietly insist on
our attention and contemplation.
Dr K.J.ShepherdsonProgramme Director: Photography,
Principal Lecturer, Department of Media, Art & Design
Canterbury Christ Church University
See the work here.