William Ball lost his mother, Jill, to cancer five years ago. As she battled her illness, she displayed stoicism, a characteristic that remained in his memory. It is the subject of his latest art project: a photographic series of a 25-foot sheet of paper slowly sinking into oblivion.
“It represents my experience as a bystander,” he said. “As sad as it was to lose her, it was beautiful to see her strength in the process.”
Ball set the paper adrift in Sarasota Bay, just off Greer Island, where his mother’s ashes were dispersed. He then tread water with a disposable camera to capture the paper’s graceful descent.
The exhibit also honors art students at the University of the West Indies in Barbados, where Ball gave a presentation as a visiting artist last year.
“I got a new perspective,” said the Ringling College of Art and Design alumnus, who called the visit a highlight of his life. “They did the same sorts of things as artists in the U.S., but their work was received very differently.”
To encourage their talents and continued education, Ball will use a portion of proceeds from his March 22 show’s sales to buy materials for the students.
Neighborhood: Lido Key
Neighbor since: 2012; previously lived in the Village for 10 years
IN HIS OWN WORDS
“My mother’s death was a tragic experience, but, now, I’m trying to portray it in a different manner.”