David Ball: Sculptor by Design
David Ball is an Architectural and Landscape Sculptor, working from his industrial workshop in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales and onsite throughout Australia.
With over three decades of experience as a sculptor and artisan, all David’s projects are one-offs.
David has developed many specialist skills during his lifelong career in design and construction, which he has fed into his sculpture.
He remembers building an underground cubby house as soon as he could lift a shovel. The cubby collapsed twice but the window of endless possibility the project opened reinforced his determination to design and create. He took every opportunity when he was a boy to design and construct and to experiment with new materials, and he is still doing this.
David spent more than a decade as a young adult turning a crumbling 1865 building into an authentic operational blacksmith shop, guesthouse and licensed colonial restaurant. Bluey Blundstone’s Blacksmith Shop in Melrose won national heritage and tourism awards and was reinstated to the rightful heart of this South Australian town. David experimented in the smithy during this venture and added these skills, along with heritage building, to his repertoire.
He enjoys the stories of steel, its relationship to humankind and the fact that, like stone, it comes from the earth and will eventually crumble back there.
If you need something sculpted in the landscape or in a special interior he can design and craft it. He has fitted out a restaurant and courtyard, designed and built a reflective bowl to commemorate the passing of a young life, and added whimsy and purpose to an original children’s playground.
David weaves his steel structures throughout homes and gardens and has designed countless commissioned sculptural fixtures ranging from gates, railings, chandeliers and staircases to fit-outs and entire buildings. His sculptures consistently win awards when he exhibits. The bush is a conduit and an inspiration to his work, which is noted for both its rawness and organic fluidity. David’s designs continue to be ambitious and original but, like an old wine, have settled and mellowed. He has begun using classic lines to create a sense of simplicity, stillness and timelessness.
David works closely with architects, business and homeowners to create the right original fixture for each environment.He has created staircases, railings, chandeliers, doors and entire interior fit-outs.
The life-sized figures David constructs are confronting and, often, moving. They capture vulnerability, fragility, stillness, humility, and other human conditions that are not often portrayed. The figures do not generally represent the classical ideal of beauty. But you be the judge.
David is inspired by his landscape and lives in a bush-lined pocket of the world. His affinity for the landscape and his horticultural early training means that many of his commissions are for garden and public settings.
David began constructing furniture when he moved to the Southern Highlands of New South Wales in the 1990s. His designs are original, playful and unorthodox and include dining settings, outdoor furniture, lamps, tables, bowls and fantastical beds.