Benjamin Brown has a free and easy approach to the making of his work. He explores the world with a playful spirit and an open mind, much as a child might.
As he travels around East Anglia he picks up materials that people have discarded in skips or left lying by the side of the road – boards, lengths of timber, paint – as well as gathering elements from nature like mud, grass, or moss. These resources then become the materials that Benjamin uses to make his paintings and sculptures.
Most of us would see these items as detritus – unwanted stuff that clutters up the space around us – and we would tend to ignore it. But this stuff comes directly from the people who live here – their leftover tins of paint, unwanted boards or timber from a building project, an old framed poster that has fallen out of favour and been thrown outside to rot – they all speak of the society that produces them, moves them around, then discards them to pass out of sight and mind.
By appropriating these objects and making works from them, Benjamin is making work that speaks of a hidden landscape – not the picturesque and bucolic ones that Constable and Gainsborough favoured, rather the ignored, unseen and forgotten that many of us contribute to but not many consider. He absorbs the essence of the place he lives in then reconfigures it to create his abstract works.
The paintings that are produced from these sources are free and easy abstracts. Having had no formal art training, Benjamin is able to approach making with no inhibitions or preconceptions. The resulting works are full of energy and exploration, with powerful brush strokes that communicate the animalistic movement and bold gestures that have taken place. – Kaavous Clayton