both eyes opened

Posts tagged ‘contemporary fine art’

Thank you so much to all the old and new friends who passed by stand 23 at The Other Art Fair last weekend. Thank you for coming and showing interest in my work, for your kind words and thoughts. Talking to you all was a real pleasure.

I am now starting organising a solo exhibition in East London during the last week of June. I hope I’ll see you there, watch this space! In the meantime, my studio is always open upon request.

Take care,

Ben

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I have very kindly been invited to be one of the guest artists to take part in the Open Studios and Silent Auction organised by the artists of the Barbican Arts Group Trust Hertford Road Studios.

The Silent Auction, featuring works by studio artists and specially invited artists Neil Irons, Lucile Montague and myself, is an ideal opportunity to start or add to your art collection. Bidding starts at £150 with a percentage donated to Barbican Arts Trust’s Public Programme and Parkinson’s Foundation.

Bids can be made online or you may wish to visit the Open Studios and bid in person. All bids are discreet and the winners will be announced at the close of the auction.

Private Viewing: 1st December 6:30 to 9pm.
Open Studios: 2nd and 3rd December 12 to 6pm.

Barbican Arts Group Trust / 32A Hertford Road / London N1 5SH

See you there!

 

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I am taking part in an exciting charity exhibition organised by Caiger Contemporary Art to celebrate the partnership between Illy coffee, UNICEF and Le Méridien. The exhibition, centered around the coffee culture in London, is intended to raise money for UNICEF and is taking place at Le Méridien, Piccadilly from 9 February to 17 April 2016.

All the artworks will be up for silent auction in aid of UNICEF until 9pm on 2 March. After then, they will be available to buy online. The money raised will help UNICEF provide clean drinking water and proper sanitation facilities for children and families across Africa and the Middle East.

 

Illy 'coffee culture' web

Untitled (Fossil with screens), 2016

Mixed media (book pages, coffee sack, coffee, porcelain, resin and oil paint) on canvas
60 x 40 cm

‘Untitled’ is a direct response to my observations and engagement with the London coffee culture as well as a means of finding common ground with threads of behaviour that link this as a global culture.

As I walk past the large, accessible coffee house window I am drawn to the moments (as well as the rich smell of the coffee) inside. I hear the conversations and the obvious hub of social exchanges, the lively gathering and the quiet stolen moments. I see a cultural convergence and the historical industry that have created roots connecting a diversity of people on a profound, daily level.

The cups of coffee and their connected shared moments may be rich, but they are essentially transient. It is those moments that I am interested in, the moment something is created or captured, learnt or questioned. Maybe on one of the laptops intimately and uniformly sitting in a row with regimental perfection, solving problems and creating questions. Or with a pencil and chance scrap of paper to quickly deposit a burning idea… When the book is written, or the idea formulated, when the painting is finished or the song completed, you will remember that coffee, because it became ‘that’ moment. It became a ‘modern fossil’.
The work is made by a series of layers, each separate and yet enriching each other, each with a symbolism.

First on the canvas is a layer of worn, well noted and inscribed book pages (found by chance in a coffee establishment). This represents the language and creativity that binds the coffee experience and connects people, the exchange and communication of ideas at the heart of this ‘culture’.

The second layer is hessian sack cloth from a coffee sack. This refers to the trade routes and international connections that coffee creates. The fibres are inter-woven like the connections between the people that are part of the network. The seam of the sack is clearly seen, snaking across the surface as if places discarded; the shape mimics the run of the river Thames across London, an artery of trade and commerce, a waterway of movement an inlet for ideas.

The third layer is coffee itself, which binds the other existing layers. The texture and familiarity provides a rich and fertile surface, a warm bed. It is a coverage, like the soil of the earth, a place to grow, a place where ‘fossils’ lay, a memory made of a specific time.

Within this surface, wear and marking have been encouraged to provide a sense of life or movement. A line of deliberate rectangles engraved upon the surface represent the windows of the coffee house with their displayed moments, the screens and paper that create, solve and question, and the moments.
Lastly is the fossil itself, the cup, the universal implement. It may vary in appearance but must fit simple ergonomic criteria… as we are all the same. It may be used for a coffee in a coffee establishment, then it is lost to you, back in the cycle…but the moment is ‘fossilised’.

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GRIMM TALES is an immersive theatre experience taking over the sprawling Bargehouse on London’s South Bank 21 November 2014 – 15 February 2015. It will see the lofty warehouse space transformed into an inspired world of overgrown forests, slaughterhouse kitchens, crumbling industrial castles and dilapidated attic ballrooms where audiences will witness a selection of murky tales performed by a cast of sixteen.

London’s newest alternative theatre experience has collaborated with The Other Art Fair to produce original artworks based on six of the famous tales.

This creative collaboration saw six artists commissioned to respond to one of the six delightfully twisted tales that are depicted in the show. I responded to the tale of The Frog King:

A beautiful princess cuts a deal with an ugly, well-dwelling frog to get back her beloved golden ball. Her promise is ambiguous, but he gets all amphibious and hops along to the palace to collect his well-earned prize. But ugly is only skin-deep of course, as the princess duly discovers when her temper frays.

The Frog King is available exclusively from The Other Art Fair Shop.

BParker The Frog King web

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Reclining birds, 2014
Carving on wood, ink, stone, material and rope
40 x 80 cm

Reclining birds 2014

Two (hybrid) figures are reclining in apparent bliss.
The contrasting monochromatic heads reference Yin and Yang, two opposing yet perfectly complementing ideals. This refers to the male and the female form and the honesty of true nature.
The human bodies and the ‘bird’ heads reflect ‘our’ place within the modern world and the constant need to separate us from the rest of the animal kingdom through a host of cultural, social and technological constructs.
The stones set in a geometric pattern highlight the games we play to provide distance from our primal needs and how they present themselves in a series of highly ritualized systems (especially courtship).
The wooden backdrop is a natural material but is specifically divided into equal sections. This again mimics our need to control natural form and the strict patterns we find ourselves adhering to in our daily routine.
The figures deliberately break this pattern to remind us that the coming together of the ‘two’ transcends all other constructs and is the most natural of all things.

 

Birds, 2014
Relief carving, resin, ink, rope, fabric on wood
100 x 100 x 6 cm

BParker Birds 2014

A relief carving of two hybrid figures standing.

The bird’s heads on the human torsos reflect mankind’s place within the modern world: the constant need to separate us from the rest of the animal kingdom through a host of cultural, social and technological constructs. The contrasting monochromatic heads reference Ying and Yang, two opposing yet perfectly complementing ideals. This refers to the male and the female form and the honesty of true nature.

The rope, set in a geometric pattern, highlights the ties to our primal needs and how these needs present themselves in a series of highly ritualized systems (especially courtship).

The wooden backdrop (a natural material specifically divided into equal sections) again mimics our need to control natural form and the strict patterns we find ourselves adhering to in our daily routine. The figures deliberately break this pattern, reminding that the coming together of the ‘two’ transcends all other constructs and is the most natural of all things.

If you are interested in Birds, please contact me.

Alternatively, you can purchase it on The Other Art Fair Shop or Saatchi Art.

 

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Good news! My artwork has been selected for The Other Art Fair, an amazing artist-led exhibition which will take place in London next 22-25 November.
I have already started working on some new ink and graphite pieces. Watch this space for more details.
In the meantime, get your tickets here: http://www.theotherartfair.com/visiting/tickets/

The Other Art Fair

The Other Art Fair

 

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