WHO IS BEN ARK
A dedicated self taught individual, Ben strongly believes that not being art schooled gives him a strong sense of self and an innate flexibility that comes from not being entrenched in ideas about what is and isn’t possible. He takes immense pleasure in learning as he goes, adapting and experimenting with various techniques and mediums, approaching every piece as an adventure - and revelling in artistic rule breaking. Luckily, exhibitors and collectors are unfazed by the lack of art schooling: Ben has shown his work across the globe from New York to Norway, with pieces held in both public and private collections.
Recent exhibitions include Liverpool Art Fair in 2019 and the inaugural 'Open  exhibition' at Salford Museum and Art Gallery. In 2018 Ben was selected to represent the City of Salford in the 'Technology: Past & Future' exhibition, hosted by Quays Culture. In 2017 he was chosen to exhibit at Warrington Contemporary Art Festival and the Royal Society of Marine Artists Annual Exhibition in London.
Ben was awarded the title of 'Salford Creative Communities Champion' in 2015 and was also chosen for the neo:artprize, where his work was exhibited alongside fellow contemporary visual artists from around the world. He regularly creates artwork for both residential and commercial settings, working on projects for high profile clients such as McDonalds.
Using traditional painterly techniques alongside digital technology he creates mixed media artworks reflecting his signature theme of contemporary landscapes and urban culture. The natural world has always inspired Ben - be it wild environments, architecture or wildlife. His distinct style is known for patches of precisely detailed realism that flow effortlessly in to less defined washes of colour. Many of Ben's earlier pieces also feature animals. To him, animals and art have many parallels. Both have the power to put a smile on your face. Both can bring instant happiness into a gloomy day. Both have a dynamic, adaptable nature.
He paints in delicate detail, before employing mixed media techniques to build up multi-layered collages that truly capture the inspirational vibrancy of the world as he sees it. He loves to use watercolours and acrylics for their fundamental, primal feel. He especially thrives on the time pressure they bring - drying times of fifteen minutes mean he has to create fast or risk the medium becoming unworkable. Most of his work then builds up via a variety of digital and mix media techniques to complete the project.
Some of Ben’s favourite mediums and disciplines include watercolour, acrylic, photography, line and wash, linocut, digital art, stencilling, resin and collage. Always keen to test himself, he loves to try new projects, styles and collaborations. His work has led to collaborations with charities, youth groups, businesses and galleries hosting and taking part in art workshops.
When not painting, Ben pursues his passion for adventure and exploration, having travelled widely. He also surrounds himself with the family and friends that he loves and enjoys being mindful of the wonderful and little things in life.
You can learn more about working with Ben to create your own bespoke artwork by following the link to commissions. If you are interested in Ben's work with teams and community groups, read more on the education page. For enquiries not covered here, you may find the FAQ page an interesting place. For all other enquires please contact Ben via the contact page.
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