Sunday, December 19, 2010

Speaking with Ben Mitchell

Collected Works - Ben Mitchell

Tell us a little about your background
I grew up in Auckland and Sydney to where I emigrated at 19. My family were involved in the Arts and to this day my Dad draws better than just about anyone else I know. I attempted to study Art at RMIT in Melbourne and didn’t have the discipline. I thought Art was what I saw in foreign books about the History of Art so headed out to find it.
I gained an Honours degree in Painting at ECU in 2005. Since then I have been in several shows in Perth, Italy and the US.

Tell us a little about what kind of work you do/ what you make
Mostly I have been painting and drawing in oils, acrylics and recently with varnishes and stains. My practice has consistently involved using recycled materials in amongst new materials and often found objects as grounds for pictures. The subject of recent pictures has been an exploration of the effects of decay on Polaroid film and how that can be interpreted in Paint.

What drives you to do what you do?
The main drive behind what I do is curiosity and the desire to achieve something I haven’t been able to yet like a dog running around a track with a rabbit on a stick.. Doing one thing then having it raise other possibilities that then logically seem to need investigating.

What is your earliest creative memory?
That would be drawing a crayon picture of a patch of strawberries seen from above.

Did you always want to be an artist, or did it come later in life?
From growing up around Artists and going to endless openings, the only things that ever really moved me were Art and Music (in the way people are moved by football say), so yes I knew this was the thing to be . It took a while to realize it.

Did you grow up in a creative environment?
Yes both my parents were and still are highly creative as were their friends. We were encouraged to do something with ourselves

Who/what are some of your creative influences?
My Mother and Father, my aunt Brigid, my former colleagues from ECU, some Modernist Painters like Robert Ryman, Rosalie Gascoigne, Cy Twombly, the list could go for pages. Recently things like torn billboards, and erased signs are influencing my focus.

What do you like about where you live?
I love the fact that I am 20 mins drive from the Beach which apart from my studio is my favourite habitat. These days beach trumps Nightclub.

Do you listen to anything while you are working? If so, what?
Yes, I enjoy flicking the radio around to suit my mood and playing random CDs of everything from Brian Eno, Electronica, Pop, 70’s funk & early Hip Hop etc to Schumann , Miles Davis and points in between.

Where can people find out more about your work?
Facebook: Ben Mitchell
Kurb Gallery
Primo Piano Gallery
Or by email:

Any current shows?
I am currently exhibiting new paintings at Kurb Gallery in William Street Northbridge till the 24th December in conjunction with fellow ECU alumni Candy Goldsmith. Openings hours are: Monday 20th, 10am-4pm; Tuesday 21st, 10am-6pm; Wednesday 22nd, 10am-6pm; Thursday 24th, 10am-4pm.

Many thanks to Ben, for agreeing to be the first in the Bear among bees Speaking with... series!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

There's a new collage on The Paper Chain block!

I received this lovely collage in the mail yesterday! I'm so excited!

We have been running the Paper Chain since April this year, seeing all the lovely work everyone was producing I was waiting (as patiently as I could) for my name to come up in our monthly random name picks and at last it did.

Morgana Robb has made this very inspiring mixed media collage for me and I now need to make a collage response to send onto the next link in our chain (#8). You can pop over to our Paper Chain blog to see a slideshow with detailed images of Morgana's collage, follow our progress, and even join in if you like : )

Sunday, November 28, 2010

2010 Crochet Blocks, so far...

A few days ago I mentioned wanting to show you some things I've made but was too excited about exhibitions and shows I saw last week to actually get to the showing off part, so here's what I was on about....

Almost a year ago I set myself the crazy goal of crocheting 200 blocks from Jan Eaton's book. Well, I'm nowhere near 200 yet - surprised?  but I have made seven new additions to the collection and took them to the park last weekend for a photoshoot.

I've added a black border to all the blocks that isn't in the book - for consistency when I join them.

Centred Square
Centred Square, block # 55 in Jan Eaton's Book.

Subtle Stripes
Subtle Stripes, block #44.

Lacy Wheel
Lacy Wheel, block #42.

Gavin's Stripes
Gavin's Stripes, block #39.

Lemon Peel
Lemon Peel, block #52.

Plain Granny
Plain Granny, block #56.

Nine Patch Granny
Four Patch Granny, block #43.

More on flickr.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

The Paper Chain is gaining momentum!

Two new collages have recently arrived in Paper Chain peoples mail boxes! Go see!

Morgana showing what she found in a mysterious parcel 
that arrived at her door from the other-side of the country...

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Wonderful things are happening on the Paper Chain...

Two wonderful new collages have arrived by Laura Williams and Carla Thursday, so go check them out at

And why not go see the work of these talented ladies at their websites too :)

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Paper Chain

Paper Chain

Claire² is a collaborative duo I am one half of with my good friend, Claire Canham. We are currently hosting a collage project called Paper Chain.

Paper Chain has been running since April this year and started as an experiment on Facebook. At present there are 24 active participants and the FB group has 82 members (made up of active & interested parties).

We are interested in the concept of networking/connecting and the physicality and joy of receiving mail. A project where people who are friends, aquaintences and strangers interact online, materially and in their creative capacities.

All participants make and receive a collage through the postal service. As there has been plenty of interest and we thought it might be nice to display the work being produced to more than just Facebook users, we recently launched a blog for Paper Chain.

We have a broad definition of collage for this project, and though paper is in the title it is not necessary that the work is made out of paper. We have had people express interest in doing collage with sound, video, textile, and many other materials. We are really looking forward to seeing the many interpretations of what collage means.

If you are interested in finding out more about the Paper Chain and maybe even joining please visit:

the Paper Chain
Paper Chain FB group

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Paper Chain - A Collage Project

Are you interested in joining in on a little collage fun?

My friend and I are hosting a group called Paper Chain using Facebook's ability to connect you to people you are closely and distantly linked with. Participants of Paper Chain will receive a collage in the mail and create a collage in response, to be sent to the next person on the chain.

Want to know more?

Head on over to Paper Chain -