‘I’ve been painting for 50 years; think I’m getting the hang of it.’
Ben is fascinated by the ancient volcanos that surround South West Victoria. Windblown trees, huge skies and hills are the images that have, to date, inspired his interpretation of landscape. Late afternoon light plays upon the dark tones present in his powerful images, reflecting a sense of hope at the edge of loss.
A boat trip to the awe-inspiring island volcano, Deen Maar (aka Lady Julia Percy Island) inspired Ben to shift his oeuvre from the land to the sea, bringing fluidity and lightness.
Bio: Born Melbourne. At fourteen, Ben took art lessons from Bill Coleman – George Bell School. He won a scholarship to study painting and drawing at the National Gallery Art School. Ben has lived, painted and taught art in Western Victoria for 40 years.
Education Diploma of Fine Arts – National Gallery Art School, 1971 Diploma of Education – Hawthorn Teachers’ College, 1976 Bachelor of Arts, Fine Art – Victorian College of the Arts, 1982
Solo Exhibitions 1980 Old Bank Gallery, Bunninyong; Hawthorn City Art Gallery 1981 Rossmoyne Gallery, Colac 1982 Iceberg Gallery, Melbourne 1987 Warrnambool Art Gallery; Deakin House, Deakin University, Geelong 1991 Open Studio Exhibition, Breamlea 1995 Studio Exhibition, Breamlea 2007 Recent paintings and prints, Geelong Gallery 2008 ‘Landscape’, Upstairs, Flinders Gallery, Melbourne 2012-13 Open Studio, F Project, Rosebrook 2014 ‘Rosebrook – New paintings’, The Artery, Warrnambool 2015 Impressions of Deen Maar’ Boom Art, Geelong
'At the root of his work is the English tradition of landscape painting, the pastoral and romantic landscapes… However, the intense contrasts of colour in Fennessy’s paintings evoke the drama inherent in the Australian environment: fire, flood and ocean gales'. - Ann Carew