The Contemporary Fine Art Gallery Eton: Artist Biography - Peter Eugene Ball

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Peter Eugene Ball



Peter Eugene Ball was born in Coventry, Warwickshire on 19 March 1943. He was educated at a local boys’ school and from 1957 to 1962 attended Coventry College of Art. He married a fellow student, Mary Faulkner, when he was 19 and in the following two years his sons, Dominic and Liam, were born. From an early age, the powerful visual images of paintings, sculptures and architecture made a deep impression on Peter Ball. Enlightened history teachers brought their subject alive for him and one of his earliest memories is of a visit to Southwell Minster, Nottinghamshire at the age of 11, which, by coincidence, many years later, became the first cathedral to commission a major work by him.
He also acquired much first hand knowledge whilst accompanying Geoffrey Saunders, an art history tutor, on numerous trips around the British Isles during the 1960s and together they made a photographic survey of village Romanesque carvings and prehistoric monuments throughout England, Scotland and Wales. From this Peter developed a life-long passion for Celtic and Romanesque carvings, both religious and secular. He joined the Marjorie Parr Gallery, King’s Road, Chelsea in 1961 where he had his first one-man exhibition in 1967. During this time Peter took on a factory job to supplement his income but in 1968 decided to make sculpture his full-time occupation. In 1973 he moved his home to Warwick and the following year sold his first religious piece to a Monsignor at Westminster Cathedral and in 1975 an exhibition of his sculptures took place at Southwark Cathedral in London. Solo exhibitions at the Gilbert-Parr Gallery were supplemented by major showings every year at the Gallery’s stand at the International Art Fair in Basel.
In 1976 Peter and Mary were divorced. The next few years were very productive with sculpture being shown at gallery exhibitions in London, Holland and Switzerland, and at international art fairs in Basel, Dûsseldorf, New York and Chicago. He also designed and made sculpture, masks and armour for Christopher Logue’s adaptation of Homer – “War Music” – for the Prospect Theatre at the Old Vic, London in 1977. In 1978 Peter Ball obtained his first church commission: a memorial crucifix at Preston-on-Stour, Warwickshire. For six months in 1981 he travelled through Europe to Poland and Greece, collecting impressions and material for his sculpture. 1982 brought a number of changes in the artist’s life. He married his second wife, Elaine Kazimierczuk, and they moved to Cromwell, Nottinghamshire. The Gilbert-Parr Gallery in London closed and thereafter his exhibitions took place at the Galerie Gilbert in Remetschwiel, South Germany, at the Basel Art Fair, at the Alwin Gallery on Grafton Street, London and the McMurtrey Gallery, Houston, Texas. Paintings, drawings, etchings and painted ceramics were being made at this period. In 1986 he was commissioned to make a crucifix and altar pieces for Birmingham Cathedral and in 1987 a large Christus Rex for the nave of Southwell Minster. Peter and Elaine’s daughter, Clary, was born in the same year and son, Harrison, in 1991. Peter Ball’s reputation for his religious work began to spread and over the next few years, as well as exhibiting his secular work, he made a Virgin and Child for Southwark Cathedral and a Crucifix and Pieta for Winchester Cathedral among others. In 1993 his work was included in the exhibition “Images of Christ : Religious Iconography in Twentieth Century British Art” in Northampton and St Paul’s Cathedral, London; in the same year a solo exhibition in Winchester Cathedral for its 900th anniversary. “A Kind of Madness”, an account of the secular work of Peter Eugene Ball by Inga Gilbert, was also published in 1993 and throughout the nineties he continued to exhibit his work in various galleries and, in particular, enjoyed great success at the Galerie Husstege in S’Hertogenbosch, Holland. During this period he accepted numerous religious commissions and in 1999 was given a solo exhibition at Southwell Minster and another at Ely Cathedral the following year. “Icons of the Invisible God”, an analysis of a selected collection of his religious sculptures by Elaine Kazimierczuk, was also published at this time. The last few years have proved fruitful and Peter Eugene Ball currently has more than sixty religious sculptures in churches and cathedrals throughout England and Wales and his secular work can be seen at various galleries and private exhibitions. He now lives in Newark in Nottinghamshire with his third wife, Jane Warner, and works from his studio on the Welbeck Estate. He continues to paint whenever he can, to visit the places which are a constant source of fascination and inspiration to him and to read avidly about history, architecture, archaeology and other artists.

Nicholas Pritchard

Gallery Owner

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Windsor Berkshire SL4 6AX

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Today's Date: 20 Mar 2018

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