Artist takes a 'tern' in focus

Diane Crocker
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Olivia Ball is seen with one of the pieces in her Terns exhibit.

CORNER BROOK  Olivia Ball came to Newfoundland in 2011 and fell in love with the province.

Originally from Yorkshire in the north of England, Ball saw an opportunity on the Internet for artist in residence at Gros Morne National Park. So she applied for the position, which is an initiative of Parks Canada and The Rooms, and was thrilled to be selected.

The experience was so good for her that in June 2012 Ball decided to move here. She’s been living and working in Corner Brook since then. The 24-year-old trained as a jeweller and metalsmith in Manchester, England. Becoming an artist was not her first career choice and is something she fell into while planning to become an engineer.

“I went on an engineering placement and got put in design engineering, and I realized that I enjoyed design and not engineering. And that kind of changed the way things went for me.”

While in Gros Morne Ball said she became fascinated by Arctic terns.

“I got a bit obsessed with them,” she said with a laugh.

She’d done a lot of work in the past to do with belonging and place and was intrigued by the fact the terns have the longest migration of any animal.

“I love the fact that they do migrate so far and they belong in many different spaces,” she said.

Her interest in the bird also turned to inspiration for some of her work. The birds are the focus of her exhibit “Terns” currently on display at JL Gallery on Broadway. The exhibit features sculpture pieces with wire terns on pieces of driftwood and wall-mounted, three-dimensional wire-work drawings.

Ball had thought she’d be moving on from here, but those plans have changed, and the exhibit was originally meant as an opportunity to share her work with the people she’s met here.

“I wanted the people who’ve been instrumental in me having such a positive experience here and who have inspired me and worked with me to get a chance to see what I’ve been doing while I’ve been here.”

Ball said most people here would know her from her jewellery work. She said the exhibit is to show the other things she does.

The exhibit opened on Friday and will be up until June 1.

Organizations: Parks Canada, JL Gallery on Broadway

Geographic location: England, Newfoundland, Yorkshire Gros Morne National Park Corner Brook Manchester Arctic

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