Di Ball is a new media artist with a long history of “performing selves”. Ball had an early creative life working as an architect, where a flair for performance found an outlet designing theme parks. Her creative practice progressed into the visual arts where she first emerged playing the role of Hindu Goddess Kali in performances for Australian artist Luke Robert’s Pope Alice. Di Ball continues to hone her practice and was an early pioneer of digital art in Queensland with artwork constructed around her “performing sleves’ in which she assumes various characters including Fleur Ball, iBall, Glo Ball and Beach Ball. Ball’s multiple selves are performance personas and digital avatars each with their own distinct narrative and an aspect of the artist that is integrated as a larger mythology and a logo called the BallPark; accompanied with the axiom “my life is/as a theme park” (a reference to her earlier career) Di Ball is the ‘architect’ of a growing mythology which has an interface at www.theballpark.art. The BallPark is a creative practice founded in digital and feminist theories, encompassing digital imaging, web-art, blogging, installation and video.
in a video work featured in Mythopoetic (2012), Di Ball explores a relatively new persona called binDi Ball. It is a play on the word bindi which she recounts is the HOT SPOT: the area between the eyebrows known as Ajina meaning command, the seat of concealed wisdom. It is the centrepoint wherein all experience is gathered in total concentration. For Di Ball, her character binDi Ball emcompasses her name and the word bindi phoetically and symbolically. The work begins with the artist applying the blue paint of her former self and the Kali persona. The paint disappears and re-appears as layers of truth are revealed. The resultant video was presented in circular format, a reference to the traditional bindi. What emerged through this video is reclamation of the value of womanhood, removing the veils of ideology]y prescribed by popularist notions regarding femininity and age.
so binDi set off to India and attempted to peel back the veils. But India was not always kind to her, the photo shoot beauty a mere layer. She was older now, a young mind trapped in the body of a 60 year old. It was difficult. She visited forts and palaces, and wished they were not all built on the top of hills. She experienced the stillness of a lake at sunset, quickly marred by the din of traffic. She wasnt looking for God, and never found her….But she found her voice again in Kerala where her heart sang. Her smile returned. Her laughter was heard.
2012 was a turning point as binDi Ball fell in love. She returned and returned and now lives 6 months of every year in her second home.
Her next project in Kochi was to resurrect Beach Ball, a recurring theme in her spiritual home of Minjerribah (Stradbroke Island) in Queensland, Australia. As a beach babe she was horrified at the state of Fort Kochi beach, and resplendent in silk caftan and designer tiara, she began her “performance with benefits” in 2014. Along the way she gained few helpers, but perserbered until Clean Fort Kochi Foundation was begun and the beach cleaning took on an official bent. Beach Ball helped when she could, but breast cancer slowed her for a bit. She will be returning in 2018.
Di Ball became known as the Queen of Kochi, a role she happily slipped into. Superficial, unauthorised, unsupported, unofficial, yet available for inaugrations, weddings, parties and everything. Her SWAGADAM (Welcome) poster adorns the walls of the local police station; Her presence is noted in newspapers; the people of Fort Cochin smile and wave as she scooters passed.