Jeff Ballard

Jeff BallardBorn in Illinois in 1977 Jeff was convinced early on that he would eventually work in the field of two dimensional art. It wasn’t until his second year at the University of Illinois when Jeff’s curiosity got the best of him and he chose glassblowing instead of graphic design as his major. It was that curiosity that lead him to earning a BFA in Glass in 2000 and some twenty years later Jeff is now teaching, exhibiting, lecturing, and demonstrating both nationally and internationally at various universities and educational institutions around the world. In 2017 Jeff helped to open up Big Spin Glass Studios in Eugene Oregon where a small collective of glass artists create and innovate with glass in multiple disciplines. Check out Jeff’s CV for upcoming workshops and exhibitions.
Dreamscapes are an ongoing series of assemblage sculptures dealing with the Jeff Ballardmethodology of Lucid Dreaming. These sculptures compare and contrast the experiential nature of dreaming and it’s relationship to our waking life. The pillow is a universally understood symbol of sleep and comfort, however in my work it becomes the duplicitous catalyst for the confusion of material reality. I often catch viewers poking the pillows until they are convinced that they are actually made of glass. An object which appears soft and conforming, in fact is hard and unforgiving. It is this experience which reasserts the surreal nature of dreaming and becomes the access point for further contemplation of the work. Over time I continue to develop a specific lexicon of imagery and materials.
There is an inherent nostalgia to my work brought about by the use of antiquated and Jeff Ballardrepurposed found objects. I often choose these objects not based on their relevance to the theme of dreaming, but on qualities that pique the interest of my unconscious mind and help to emphasize the idiosyncratic nature of dreaming. It is my goal to nurture the discussion and discovery of one of the most overlooked and under examined aspects of ourselves, the unconscious mind and it’s playground of dreams. While inspired by personal experiences, my most recent series addresses the ubiquitous issues of memory, decay, home and displacement. The hallmark of these works is the use of antiquated found objects and hand blown glass panels.
The interplay of various light sources with these panels creates a distinct duality between the cool deep blues and intense fiery reds. Many of the works use harvester antsJeff Ballard to create elaborate patterns in sand and soil representing the brain scans of Alzheimer patients where areas of light are contrasted with dark inactive patches. In recent studies ants have been found to use visual landmarks, not pheromones, as a means of navigation just as humans do. During the course of Alzheimer’s disease it is very common for individuals to have difficulty navigating what once were well known routes and areas.
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