“The wider narrative of my practice channels a prevailing fascination in documenting human identity in relation to ancestry and a breaking down of social constructs. An anthropological foundation, formed from personal experience is a thread in the work, which seeks to question our innate relationship in the present day”
Born in 1981 In Cuckfield, Ben spent a large part of his childhood living across Europe due his father’s military occupation, including Malta, Belgium and Germany before eventually settling outside of Bath in the west of England. These early experiences have shaped much of the foundation for Ben’s work and the continuous thread of documenting people within shifting cultural landscapes; guided by a childhood fascination with street art and the 1948-51 European Avant Garde movement, the CoBrA group. Graduating from the Slade School of Fine Art in 2003, Ben went onto work in youth arts education, using art to inspire hard to reach young people, before a career in music promotions and commercial illustration. Summers currently lives and works in North London.
Summers explores the celebration of the individual, drawing upon the earnestness of our personal stories and whilst reflecting on his own heritage. Prevailing topics of remodelling history, communication and disquiet around social issues in 2017 and beyond, are consistently central.
The developing body of figurative work, emerge from an increasingly expansive practice, for which the boundless possibilities of painting remain a foundation. They have begun through conversations and time shared with friends, strangers and people passing through shifting environments. Revered centerpieces, often accompanied by imaginary characters, cinematic references and childlike symbolism bestow a fluctuating and layered approach to artistic production. The works are developed from an increasingly methodical and highly inquisitive system of gathering subject matter sourced from live sketches, candid photos and footage.