smile please :) exhibition opening
January 17, 2010, 1:03 pm
Filed under: Ben Meredith

Ben Meredith will be exhibiting drawings and paintings made during his residency as part of Milkwood’s Basement Project. ‘The starting point was a single photograph – by repetition and experimentation Ben has explored both the basement space and his own practice through the image – where narrative themes of obsession and possession were injected in to its production.

Private View- Friday 15th January- 6pm


The end
January 16, 2010, 12:42 am
Filed under: Ben Meredith


My residency in the ‘Basement Project’ is officially over ( soon to be removed and painted over). I am now showing new paintings upstairs for the next two weeks. Thanks to those who came to see the show. In this way it was a Closing and and Opening a bit like the New Year really…

Breaking away…
January 15, 2010, 12:37 am
Filed under: Ben Meredith

During my eight weeks at Milkwood I was making work alongside the Basement Project.  Two of the paintings shown are from this period ‘Alicia At The Beach’ and ‘Boy/Girl’.  At the time they felt like paintings produced ‘on the side’, almost devious.  The freedom to suddenly break away from a constraint (even though it was self imposed) feds into the resulting vibrancy and energy that these pieces display.  They make for an interesting counter point to the darker mood of the work in the Basement whilst retaining values I hold important to my practice as a visual practitioner.  The work and experience of this Residency will feed into the work I continue to make.

Drawing a close…
January 10, 2010, 12:25 am
Filed under: Ben Meredith

The success of ‘smile please’ was creating an atmosphere of unease and fully exploring where I wanted to take my art in relation to the little girl image.  The interaction I had with the public was largely positive and some conversations both surprised me and challenged what I was undertaking.

There came a point however where I became increasingly unable to face painting or drawing the image any more.  My ‘obsession’; with the image had subsided.  The initial idea centred around interpreting this photo and repeating the creative act; exploring the results what is improved? What is lost?  Although scale, line and colour were altered with each new piece; the starting point was always the same.   I took the notion of duplicating the creative act from the same initial subject as far as I believe I could.  To continue past this point and simply churn out a larger collection of images was not an option. 

Concealer and Revealer
December 14, 2009, 8:38 pm
Filed under: Ben Meredith

An ongoing theme that drives my practice is paint; concealer and revealer.  Pictures that are easily recognisable and digested but when viewed on further inspection begin to reveal themselves as distressed, rubbed back, intricate, fragmented and layered. What is revealed is often unclear or veiled and viewing them is a private experience for the viewer and the artist.  I hope during my stay I can push my practice and try out different ideas that I have in a public setting.      


Visual Aims
December 3, 2009, 7:49 pm
Filed under: Ben Meredith

The show (working title ‘smile please’) will be a mixture of drawings and paintings made specifically for, in and directly onto the walls of the space itself.  My aim is to arrange a short residency in the space, during which visitors can visit and engage with both myself and the work, plus having a unique opportunity to see new art being made.  ‘Smile please’ will contaminate the Milkwood basement; images will slowly spread and seep from the walls and onto the surrounding floors.  There will be no major structural alterations to the space, rather the space will be transformed during the course of my residency.  The bulk of my activity will manifest itself in works on paper and as mentioned wall paintings, there may also be some work on canvas.  Although I have a fairly defined idea of what I want to achieve, there will be freedom to improvise.  I plan to push my mixed media approach using sewing, coffee, emulsion and collage as possible means of production.  I would also like to advise at this point that I will not use any oil based paints, so any work produced directly onto gallery walls can be easily removed. 


The Basement Project Begins…
December 1, 2009, 3:44 pm
Filed under: Ben Meredith

The Proposal

Both the starting point and reference for this body of work is a single photograph.  It shows a young girl posing for a school photograph.  When I initially viewed this image It conveyed youth, melancholy and insecurity.  Through repetition and experimentation in mixed media I plan to explore both the space and my practice through this image.  Narrative themes of obsession and possession will be injected into the production of the art.  Always working with a knowledge of the viewers expected experience when entering the space; confronted by this series of faceless portraits, the same portrait repeated. 

Drawings and paintings will be made specifically for, in and in some cases directly onto the walls of the Milkwood Basement.  Visitors have the chance to visit and engage with both myself and the work, plus have an opportunity to see new art being made.   

 “I find the space a challenge, but an appealing challenge. It is a space that can feel confrontational, the hum of the strip lighting, the smell of damp and the red painted floor all add to the mood…I think it will be a successful venture if Milkwood continue to engage with artists in this way, to encourage us to play with what is available and to be truly creative.”