Hills Arts Centre
17/18 Waterloo Place, Sunderland, SR13HT
April 29 – May 29 2022
Backgroundcamel’s (Ben Gilchrist) body of work is bright, bold, geometric, and abstract. Simplifying a complicated world into unrecognisable shapes and brightening it up with the use of colour and shiny materials.
The work in this exhibition is made up of acrylic on aluminium composite board. These materials are long-lasting, permanent, and have an aura of quality. The longevity of the materials adds a weight and gravitas to the work.
The paintings in the exhibition are all influenced from images the artist has seen across the North East, such as urban and architectural shapes. Brutalist forms have been taken and re-purposed with colour and creativity. The structure of the work references the history of art through its nod to stained glass, an influence which initially stemmed from visits to Charles Rennie Mactintosh’s works when Ben was younger.
The artwork is heavily influenced by music (especially Chiptune/8-bit), movement, architecture, stained glass, and video games. All the names of the pieces are lyrics from songs that the artist was listening to when the works were created.
The name ‘Backgroundcamel’ aptly comes from the first band the artist co-founded back in 2002, named Camel Wrist, and is a tongue-in-cheek take on the literal background nature of being the band’s drummer.
Ben is a currently an MA Visual Art student at the University of Sunderland, who returned to the cultural sector after an extended break following the completion of his BA Hons, UoS (06-09). He held studios at B&D in Commercial Union House and has previously exhibited in The Northern Gallery of Contemporary Art.
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