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A student of Kenneth Jamison at Annadale Grammar School, 1954-61, Brian Ballard went on to study at the Belfast College of Art 1961-64 and Liverpool College of Art 1964-65. In 1968 he joined the staff of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. He was a Carroll Prizewinner in the Irish Exhibition of Living Art in 1970.
In 1973 he was commissioned by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland to design a poster-poem in collaboration with the poet John Montague. His work is presented in An Chomhairle Ealaion, the Arts Council of Northern Ireland Collection, the P J Carroll & Co. Collection, Crawford Municipal Art Gallery, Cork, the University of Ulster and the Ulster Museum.
His contemporary approach to painting alternates between figurative treatment of nudes, landscape and expressionistic still life, all of which he practises in equal measure and intensity.These genres have enabled a spontaneity of approach that has endured for the artist and yet within this diverse range of output, each composition bears the instantly recognisable stamp of Ballard. His work appears in a diverse array of collections.