My work looks at interaction within the fabric of landscape; people lost in thought, alone or together, moving from one place to another. [Ben Kelly]
Northern artist Ben Kelly’s work is highly sought after and avidly collected with most of his exhibitions selling out before they open. His paintings are full of vitality and are a celebration of colour and character with playful compositions weaving social narratives into each work.
Often characterised by stage-like settings, Kelly’s paintings are known for their radiant palette with a motion of brush mark that draws the eye to all areas of the surface. Shafts of light remind one of the powerful beams of stage lighting, which illuminate key characters in Kelly’s stories. In contrast, shadows are cast over bent, Lowry-esque figures. Their postures are echoed in the leaning of vast, tall tree trunks theatrically patterned with taut strings as if they were an orchestra, ready to strike up an overture.
Kelly studied at the University of Wolverhampton and then Central Saint Martins School of Art and Design in London, where he completed his MA. He has been artist in residence to Manchester City Football Club and has work in private and public collections including Turner Prize winner Mark Wallinger, Unilever, University of Cambridge and the National Football Museum. He is represented exclusively in the south of England by Bath Contemporary.