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Interview with online art magazine, SUSSEX EVERY
Ben Dawson is enjoying every moment of his increasingly successful adventures as an artist.
Ben tells us about the exciting responses to his work, the encouraging note from his mother that got him started and how, if you look very carefully over the sea at Pevensey, you might spot Ben kitesurfing!
Q Ben, your art is being seen and admired by more and more people as the word gets out. How exciting is it to receive this very positive response?
‘I am delighted by the response I have had, it has really given me the belief and drive to keep pushing myself. Art is such a personal thing and it is so rewarding to receive positive feedback’.
Q Did someone in particular encourage you to pick up your paintbrush and how did it feel to know they had such belief in you, your abilities and your potential?
‘I come from a very arty family and have painted all my life, my uncle is a professional artist, my sister is a metal sculptor and my mum is a hobby potter. I remember the moment I fell back in love with art.... Ten months ago my mum left a sketchbook and nice Rotring pens hanging in a carrier bag from my front door handle. Inside the cover of the sketch book was a plea.. "Please sketch, love Mum" three months later I left my full time job in pursuit of a career in art!’
Q What is the place of both abstract and representational styles in your painting? Would you say your combining certainty with uncertainty?
‘Absolutely, I love the play between tight and loose or realism and abstraction. For example in this piece of Koi Carp I have painted fairly realistic fish and then used various techniques to create depth and energy in the abstracted water. This pier picture has an illustrative tight quality, softened by the energy of the drips and abstract sky.
Q What motivates you, what is spurring you forward to be so creative? And are you enjoying yourseIf?
‘I literally bounce out of bed looking forward to painting every day! I have come a long way technically in the past six months and the excitement of not knowing where this progression will take me in the next six months is a huge motivator. I am loving the journey and people liking and buying my work is hugely gratifying.’
Q Is the process of creating a painting like going on a journey, and do you always know what the final destination of each one will be?
‘Very much so, I try have a reasonably clear mental image before I start any piece, however I love the happy accidents that occur during the course of a painting. I have discovered new techniques through trying to just paint in the moment. Sometimes a piece takes me on a journey and I am often surprised by the end result.’
Q Are you in love with the sea?
‘I have a huge draw to the sea! I am lucky enough to live and paint right on the beach in Pevensey Bay and get on the water paddle boarding or kitesurfing as often as I can. I find the sea can be calming one day and inspiring the next. Many of my paintings are views of the coast from my paddle board.’
Q Another passion of yours are silver birch trees.
‘As with many artists, I love the texture, tone and shape of these majestic, fast growing and short living trees. There is a gorgeous wood near my favourite pub in Chiddingly where there are stunning groups of Silver Birches. This is one of my favourite walks and always ends up in the pub! In this painting I have used masking fluid to maintain the white bark whilst using acrylic inks on wet canvas and sea salt to create an atmospheric background. I then remove the masking fluid and use a rigger brush to indicate bark and branches. Finally I splatter various pigments of ink in layers to give the indication of foliage.’
Q You have recently begun exhibiting at The Makery.
‘The Makery Gallery in Eastbourne's Enterprise Centre on Station Parade, is a cooperative of twelve talented artists with a wide range of work. I was delighted to have been accepted two months ago and have enjoyed great success selling my work there. If you are in the area please pop in!’
Q How can people contact you if they are interested in a commission?
‘I love commissions and have recently completed a pair of large Silver Birches for a seafront apartment in Eastbourne marina. I currently have four commission pieces I am working on. And a few to move on to as I complete a piece. To commission me please email firstname.lastname@example.org, visit www.bendawson.art or call my mobile 07840473763’
Q Where else can people see your work over the coming months?
‘I have work in DC1 Gallery in Seaside Road, Eastbourne, award-winning cafe the The Beach Kitchen on Beach Road, Eastbourne and I have private views and open houses planned in the new year. Details to follow on my website. I also have work appearing on Sarah Beeney's Renovate Not Relocate to be aired in January.’
13 Nov 2018 Article in Bay Life Magazine
Ben Dawson: The man who paddleboarded his own canoodle with art: More than a ripple of interest as star is born in Pevensey Bay
‘Artwork of Ben Dawson mooted as next big thing.’
More than a ripe of interest is surrounding an artist star who lives in Pevensey Bay, his artwork is being mooted as the next big local thing in the artist community here.
Ben Dawson, who has joined the pioneering Makery collective of artists based at the Enterprise Centre in Eastbourne, lives in Pevensey Bay. He is quietly beginning to see his work talked about beyond the locality. The artist, who is to see his work featured on Renovate not Relocate with Sarah Beeney in a new property programme, in March 2019, may well be about to hit that magic moment when his work will reach a bigger audience. The multi-award-winning network UKTV has commissioned a brand-new property focused series. The series is being produced by Outline Productions. Really is a leading real-life TV channel, offering viewers lifestyle programming such as Homes Under The Hammer, DIY SOS and Escape to the Country.
Ben paddleboards his own canoodle with art. Some of his work sees him scanning the local horizon from his novel viewpoint beyond the shoreline.
Ben says, “I am an artist living in Pevensey Bay, East Sussex. I am lucky enough to live on the beach and spend all my spare time on or around the water either painting, kitesurfing or paddle boarding “Many of my paintings are views from my paddle board off the south coast”.
Some of his work, like his takes on Eastbourne pier, have already been featured in the local press. The work is doing the rounds with nods of approval from a number of local art critics. One local commentator said “the work of Ben Dawson is intriguing, you can pick up references to all kinds of people from Paul Nash to the abstract expressionists of the late forties, the backdrop canvas that we are about to see in the Sarah Beeney programme in January, for example, is straight out of the Jackson Pollock playbook,” “But look closely at the figurative work hiding in the big canvas and there is something else going on in the picture, there is a bit of Henri Rousseau or William Blake going on in there as well, or something” “There is a vision, insight and thinking in his work that makes Ben Dawson intriguing. “Modern art and certainly contemporary, but with an understanding of shape, building and shoreline that enables us to date the work in the personal historical log of our collective imagination that makes us think somehow, certainly interesting.
“Perhaps the most interesting aspect to his work as he paddles his own way with art, is that he keeps changing his style, bloody fascinating.”
The artist has recently decided to dedicate his work to his art, after a career in service management with hotels. He is already seeing his work being picked up by local collectors at prices that look set to rise in the coming months.
The art of Ben Dawson is to feature in a new insert newspaper, dedicated to local art, that launches on Saturday 26 January 2019, edited by local artist Val Racher. A one man exhibition of his work is also being mooted, to be held at the Ethel Wood Centre in Pevensey Bay late in January 2019 as part of the launch of the insert newspaper.
Not often that we see a stand out artist emerging in our community. The work of Ben Dawson is already being talked about in slightly hushed tones as a local artist star that is about to be born, living and working here in Pevensey Bay. His work was brought to our attention by the publisher the Pevensey Bay Journal, Dianne Dear. Handing us his novel little business card, she said with thought, “I think we should look at the work of this bloke”. The work of Ben Dawson is to feature in the next edition of the Pevensey Bay Journal with a special interview, in local newsagents Saturday 26 November.