Sarah Ball's most recent works are intricate and diminutive painted portraits taken from police ‘mugshots’. These delve into ideas surrounding 19th Century physiognomy - which was a widely explored and believed notion that there was a connection between an individual’s outward appearance and their inner character - in essence good people ‘looked good’ and bad people ‘looked bad’. This research progressed to include Alphone Bertillon’s identification system. Bertillon was a French police officer and biometrics researcher who applied the anthropological technique of anthropometry to law enforcement, creating an identification system based on physical measurements.
Sarah Ball grew up in South Yorkshire, England and studied at Newport Art College, Wales. After working in London throughout the late 80s and 90s, she returned to Wales to concentrate solely on painting and completed an MFA at Bath Spa University in 2005.
Acclaim for Sarah Ball continues to grow with two recent pieces included in the Royal Academy of Arts, London Summer Show in 2013. Ball was also awarded Welsh Artist of the Year in 2013 after having been shortlisted in 2007 and 2009. In 2012 Ball took the Best of Wales prize at The National Open Art Competition. Sarah was also shortlisted for the Threadneedle Prize in 2009 and has again been shortlisted in 2014.