“The world stepped into when we explore Ben’s work is made up of things, materials, objects, stuff. Is it a door handle? A leather boot, A bag of materials that looks like but isn’t quite coal? Does it matter? These are old things. But the sense of the old is that of time as something pure. Unlike the reworking of the past we find in so much popular culture, this is a sensuous oldness; we want to touch and explore. We want to feel the object of time itself.
The installation Zeppelin is one example. The title refers to the object of the zeppelin itself with all its historical associations. But when engaging the sculpture, we are drawn to its clunky feel, its use of essentially old materials, bringing us back to that sensuous oldness that is not the past but time.
Another example is Bladderhead, a head cast of a weary, beaten down man; his eyes shut as if turning away from the sparkling newness of a world that confronts him at
every turn. Perhaps this man is defeated by the glittering objects that surround him;
the weariness he feels because of this. This weary figure pervades Ben’s practice across media. It feels as if he’s shutting his eyes in the hope that he can retreat into a world where the old is not the past but the shimmer of time itself. I wonder if this man is Ben, weary with this world and therefore making another. Or maybe he represents a part of me that wants to tune out of the present, if only for a moment.
But then a light bulb goes off and I think that Bladderhead is in fact us all, cast in that cultural constellation Fisher writes about as so obsessed with recycling the past, and therefore looking to retreat into a world both sensuous and old: the feeling of time itself.”
I am a magpie, but a very particular one. I go for objects or views that are shinny to me. Sometimes I may use the object directly through ﬁlming, or I may make a mould of the object and cast it in wax. I start by casting an object that appeals to me perhaps because of its shape or maybe it ﬁts in with some other piece or just because I like the look of it . In Film and sound I usually start out by trying to realize a particular idea but again I can add and remove pieces until it feels right, and this can happen over a long period. These pieces can sometimes cross over into print and take on a diﬀerent form and meaning. Simply put my working method in all materials is very Sculptural, basically sticking things together until they seem right and work for me. The work itself tends to have a slightly dark element, of course in terms of colour and weight but there is humour perhaps a little perverse and slightly hidden but it is there.
b. 1963, Ireland
Winchester School of Art, England
MA Fine Art Sculpture, Distinction
University College Cork
BA Archaeology, Single Honors
Crawford College of Art, Cork
Diploma Fine Art, Distinction
2004 to present
Lecturer (Fine Art Dept.) Waterford Institute of Technology.
Sculpture Lecturer 2001 Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI U.S.A.
Chairman of Backwatercourse Artists Group, Wandesford Quay Cork
Cork Artist for National Sculpture Day
Hosted by Sculptors Society of Ireland
• Creating temporary work with schools in Cork.
St Johns Central College, Cork
• Film studies course.
Crawford College of Art, & Limerick School of Art.
St Johns Central College, Cork
• Art, Craft, Design, and Portfolio preparation course.
Sculptor on the Arts Council Artists in the schools scheme
• Schools in Cork City and county.
• Experimental Sculpture Workshop, Summer School
Crawford College of Art, Cork
• On sites in Cork and Kerry for Cork City Council and University College Cork
GlogauAIR Residency Berlin
Visiting artist / lecturer, technician, Michigan State College U.S.A
Studio residency Triskel Art Centre, Cork
Residency Vermont Studio Centre, U.S.A.
Residency Roche’s Point Lighthouse, Whitegate, Co Cork.
Cill Rialaigh project, residency Ballinskelligs, Co Kerry.
Print Residency at the Kloster Bentlage Cultural Centre and Museum, as
part of the Munsterland festival part 6 in 2011.
SOLO EXHIBITIONS AND EVENTS
Rising, Soma Contemporary, Waterford city.
Delights , Backwater Artists group, Cork.
Sin Corner, Christ church Triskel Arts Centre.
‘Cyclops’ ,Courthouse Gallery Ennistymon , Co Clare.
‘Frau Von Havel’ Short film selected for Cork film Festival 2004.
Cinema Caradiso Cork Art Trail, Wansford Quay. Film projected inside a Renault 4 van converted into cinema.
‘Culver’t 16mm film project with Cork Film Centre.
‘Quiet’ Exhibition with Marc Reilly, Paul Kane Gallery, Dublin.
‘Body’Sirius Art Center, Cobh, Co, Cork as part of Cork Institute of Technology ,Arts Festival.
Asleep Installation project. City Morgue, White Street, Cork.
‘Moving’. National Sculpture Factory, Cork.
1997 ‘Blimp’. Touring show
Garter Lane Arts Centre, Waterford, and Triskel Art Centre, Cork.
1996 ‘Gob’. Touring show
Linnenhall Arts Centre.Castlebar Co, Mayo, and South Tipperary Arts Centre Clonmel, Co, Cork.
Café Paradiso, Cork.
Siamsa Tire Gallery, Tralee.
1993 Recent Work.
Belltable Art Centre, Limerick.
1992 Recent work.
Aula Max, University College Galway.
1991 Recent Work.
Triskel Art Centre, Cork
1990 First Solo
Riverun Gallery, Temple bar Dublin.
• Private collections in Ireland, England, and Holland.
• Public collections in University College Cork, University College Dublin, and Regional Technical College, Tralee, Kerry.
• Office of the Mayor of René, France, commemoration of twinning with Cork, 1994.
Crawford Municipal Art Gallery. A.I.B. and B.O.I Dublin. Eily Lily Cork. O.P.W. Dublin.
• The Presidents Office, Phoenix Park, Dublin.
• The Granary Theatre, Cork.
Department of Education Scholarship, Anatoti Scoli Collone Athens, Greece 1988/89 New contemporaries award Triskel Art Centre Cork 1991.
Arts flight 1998.
Arts flight 2000.
Arts flight 2001.
Arts Council bursary 2000.
Arts council materials grant 2001.
Claremorris open Adjudicators prize 2002.
Selected for Peripheral Visions Video Art exhibition for Cork City of Culture 2005.
Culture Ireland Grant 2011.
Sin corner catalogue Essay by Sarah Kelleher 2013.
The Visual Artists News Sheet March – April 2012 Review of Cyclops by M. Cutaya.
Munsterland festival catalogue 2011 for Pluto isbn 978-3-939812- 15-9.
Enclave Review 2011 Excavate Cork public Museum , by Ed Krčma .
Backwater Twenty – 10 A celebration of twenty years of Backwater Artists Group.
Submarine catalogue By Hillary Phyle GalerieR31 Berlin 2009.
Then + Now Evolving Art Practices Lewis Glucksman Gallery U.C.C.
Nuacht U.C.C News Magazine Campus Art (p17), February 2007.
Peripheral Visions’ Cork Film Centre and Cork 2005 Catalogue.
O2 Contemporary Art from Cork .Crawford gallery 2005 Catalogue.
Crossing over Garter lane Arts Centre. Catalogue 2005.
Sculpture at Kells, Kilkenny, Catalogue.
Clo in China, Hangzhou China Catalogue 2005.
EV+A 2001 Catalogue.
Scoip Siamsa Tire Tralee, Catalogue 1996 & 2001.
The Modern Art collection, University College Cork, Compiled by William Gallagher published by The Visual Arts Committee University College Cork, 1998
Gob Touring show Catalogue, Essay by Vera Ryan 1996.
New Contemporaries Catalogue Triskel Arts Centre 1990.
Sade 87 Catalogue Crawford Municipal Gallery, Cork.
Irish Times review, May 1997 Mark Ewart.
The Sunday Times May 1997 Review Medb Ruane.
The Sunday times November 1994 review Emer Mc Namara.
The Irish Times November 1994 review Mark Ewart.
The Irish Times 1994, review Mark Ewart.
Limerick Leader April 1993, Review Samuel Walsh.
The Irish Times July 1992 Review Brian Fallon.
Irish Times August 1991, review Hilary Pyle.
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