Art Interview Issue Issue 0 Noir — 19 January 2012

Ben Kenning PaintingHow long have you been painting for?

I’m 28 years old now and have been painting or creating art since I was a toddler, however did not go to study art until the age 23. Initially I completed the Diploma of Fine Art at Newcastle Art School, then the Advanced Diploma and then with credit from these courses completed the Bachelor of Fine Art at Newcastle University.

What artists and/or musicians inspire you?

Artists who inspire me? Anybody who pursues their creative impulse I feel is inspirational. Especially those who are obsessive and create and investigate to uncover worlds unique to themselves and then share this with people.

Has your painting methodology evolved over the years, since starting painting?

Up until the third or fourth year of studying/practicing I really had no idea what I was doing besides experimenting. Perhaps the accumulation of physical memory and snippets of process and design principles I did not understand by themselves let alone in relation to other principles.

Within the last couple of years the pieces have started to come together and my understanding of my process and design principles has deepened and expanded to the point that I can comfortably manipulate the skills I have learned more efficiently.

Do you have any upcoming shows or projects that you wish to mention?

I will be off the Beijing for the months of March and April this year to complete a two month residency with Red Gate Gallery and will hopefully also spend a week or so in South Korea. Outside of this I am actively pursuing opportunities to exhibit and find representation through commercial galleries outside of Newcastle. I will be entering a piece in the Sulman Prize this year for the first time and so am looking forward to this process weather my work is accepted or not.

Ben Kenning PaintingWhat are you doing when you are not painting?

When I’m not painting I’m either stretching and building canvases for people, which I do for a few extra dollars or am scrapping for other work doing whatever odds and ends I can.

Where do you see your art practice in the 10 years’ time (or where would you like it to be)?

Where I will be and where I would like to be in 10 years. Hopefully they are the same place. Ideally I would like to be a full time artist, represented by a reputable commercial gallery. Making enough money to be self-sufficient and support my practice. I would like to travel regularly, participate in residencies and whatever other opportunities arise. It is more likely however that I am working part time and creating art outside of this. My goals each year are to exhibit in at least one solo-exhibition, enter prizes, participate in group shows and apply for grants and scholarships. Within this time I would also like to have completed my honors and perhaps masters qualifications at University.

Check out more of Ben’s work at his website.

Interview by Daniel Smith


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