About the Artist

Ben creates mixed media paintings that focus on our relationship with place, history, and local flora and fauna.

He is also co-founder and designer of a line of Canadian history -inspired lifestyle products line Civic Trust.

During the work week, Ben spends his time at University Health Network, where he works on projects that combine science, writing, art and layout design. For an example, see the UHN research report.

PreStories Artist Statement

While the traditional narrative places nature as placid to be harnessed and controlled to do our bidding, against the backdrop of time, this control can be seen shifting, and slipping away. Recent events, natural catastrophes, the treat of climactic meltdown, have re-established Nature as a narrative that has a life of its own.

“A meadow is nothing but a field of suffering. Every second, some creature is dying in the gorgeous green expanse, ants eat wriggling earthworms, birds lurk in the sky to pounce on a weasel or a mouse….”

Milan Kundera, Immortality, 1991.

The works contain references to the risks we face under this unwritten story, in the paws of the polar bear, immortalized as the Tundra turns to fields in Northern Plains. Despite discomforting themes, there is an upside. The bird and dinosaur hybrids in the “museum display” pieces suggest the continuity of a lineage from ancient to modern avian—one that may be smoothed out with the passage of time.

Landscapes Artist Statement

These paintings explore the natural world and the way people interact with it. I paint local environs, both natural and manmade using mixed media: acrylic paints, pastels, crayons, charcoal and oils. These are used in combination to capture effects of light that are found in-between tamed spaces such as parking lots or suburbia and the untamed fringes found in parks, abandoned lots, and by rivers.

Many of my current pieces are inspired by walks in unkempt urban spaces. Buildings are featured, and often serve to reflect the colours of the sky.