Ben Sanderson has been Trebah’s artist in residence since 2019, his new exhibition Green at an Angle is the outcome of this residency and can be seen at Kestle Barton from April 17 until June 13 2021.
Ben’s time at Trebah has inspired a collaboration we like to informally call “The Helford Triangle”. The triangle joins Kestle Barton and Trebah Garden on opposite sides of the river with CAST in Helston.
Trebah providing a space for thought and contemplation, CAST providing an inspirational workspace and community of artists and Kestle Barton an exceptional space to share the outcomes inspired by Ben’s visits to the garden.
Kestle Barton can be visited via a short ferry ride and enjoyable walk through the woods from Helford Passage. Kestle Barton is an ancient Cornish farmstead situated above the Helford River. Following an award-winning conservation and conversion project the beautiful old farm buildings have new uses, one of the barns becoming an elegant gallery that opened in 2010. In the gallery, garden and wildflower meadow beyond, we have a programme of four free exhibitions and a number of other events open to visitors each year, from early April to late October.
The Cornubian Arts & Science Trust (CAST) is an educational charity. It was established in 2012 and has developed out of a series of contemporary art events organised in Cornwall since 2010. CAST aims to promote participation, appreciation and learning in the visual arts and to encourage interdisciplinary dialogue and collaboration across the arts and sciences.
Why not take a day to join the dots of the triangle yourself by combining a visit to Kestle Barton to see the exhibition with a delicious lunch at CAST café followed by a stroll around Trebah.
Watch: Ben Sanderson, Trebah's Artist In Residence
As Ben Sanderson prepared for his exhibition, we caught up with him in his studio at CAST in Helston to find out more about his work, his process and what drew him to Trebah.
Ben Sanderson film
Green at an Angle
Ben Sanderson works in painting, drawing and textiles, often returning to existing pieces and transforming them: monotypes on paper are developed and echoed in printed elements that appear on canvas, canvas is mulched to become rag paper, which in turn becomes a ground for new painting. In Green at an angle, Sanderson’s first solo exhibition, new work from the last eighteen months offers an investigation into processes of capturing human and non-human experiences of time, cycles of production and reproduction.
Sparked by repeated encounters with nearby Trebah Garden, where for the last three years Sanderson has visited the UK’s largest magnolia tree during the week it is in bloom, the paintings, drawings and prints attempt to channel the array of sensations that plants offer us.
Green at an Angle, borrowed from a phrase by poet Rachael Allen, hints at a skewed relationship with the natural world. As time has passed during lockdown, and as many of us have experienced nature only through the portals of windows, doorways or the boundaries of our gardens, the titles of the works each take on a biographical significance, even while the seasonal change heralded by the flowers shown continues without regard to human time.
Accompanying the show is a limited edition book, a collaboration between Rachael Allen and Ben Sanderson, with poems and paintings growing in parallel.
About Ben Sanderson
Ben Sanderson (b. Coventry, UK, 1986) lives and works in Cornwall. He holds a BFA from University College Falmouth, and in 2017 took part in Syllabus III, a roaming study programme partnered with Wysing Arts Centre, Studio Voltaire, Eastside Projects, Iniva, New Contemporaries, S1 Artspace and Spike Island. Selected exhibitions include: Glade, Potager Garden, Cornwall (2020); Chicken Nuggets, Pool School Gallery, Cornwall (2019); Where it is, there it is, Auction House, Cornwall (2018); Can we Still Be Friends?, Guest Projects, London (2018); These Fingers Read Sideways, Monomatic, Edinburgh (2018); What Is This Place?, Newlyn Art Gallery, Cornwall (2017); Smile Orange, Cubitt Gallery, London (2015); Testing Tropes, Kestle Barton, Cornwall (2015).
Sanderson has had a studio at CAST since 2012 and has been closely involved with the development of the organisation from the start, as well as contributing to the organisation of CAST’s ongoing programme of public screenings and events and to Groundwork, a three-year programme of international contemporary art that culminated in 2018. In the past few years he has worked with Pool School Gallery, and on many other independent projects, including work with dementia patients and with young people. In a new commission for Hospital Rooms, due to be completed in 2021, he will be looking into the emotional and neurological effects of plants on human behaviour/mental health.
Ben Sanderson would especially like to thank the following people for their generous support in this project: Karen Townshend; Rebecca Lewin; Rachael Allen; Teresa Gleadowe; Kestle Barton; CAST; Trebah Garden; Jonathan Bray; James Lewis; Theo Inglis; James Bannister; Samantha Sand-Holmes; Naomi Frears; Sarah Johnson; Cultivator; and those who joined me on walks in Trebah Garden: Nicky Wharton, Harriet Gendall, Cathy English, Penelope Shuttle, Sam Buchan-Watts, Aimee Parrott, Tor Harrison, and Heloise Tunstall-Behrens.