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Ouroboros at MIRROR, Arts University Plymouth

Monday, February 26

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Fri 19th Jan – Sat 16th Mar

Opening Hours: Mon-Fri: 9-5, Sat: 9-1, Sun: Closed

MIRROR, Arts University Plymouth, Tavistock Pl, PL4 8AT

MIRROR presents a solo exhibition by Cornwall based artist Ben Sanderson as part of South West Showcase 2024. 

The exhibition consists of several wall-like works that are arranged to make temporary rooms within the gallery. The walls are created by reusing old paintings in various states: primed and painted, dyed, cropped and quilted back together again, pulped and pressed into rag paper. They have a more deliberate ‘front’ and a more accidental ‘back’, each playing a role in two different spaces. They hold smaller paintings, embedded and framed, a process that has involved sifting, sorting and reactivating a decade of old work. 

Sanderson said: “The ‘fronts’ are where most of my energy goes. Top-stitched and carefully placed blocks of colour fall into pattern, often punctuated by smaller paintings. Paintings have gone back to their material nature. The selected ones are pruned and arranged within their borders, walls of collaged thought.

“The ‘backs’ are the closest I have got to a fully improvised way of working; they surprise me every time. It’s like crawling through a hedge. They hold all the waste subconscious thoughts. They are the bits I don’t want to see or the bits I don’t know what to do with. Often the fronts are trying to clear space in my mind or create less in the room, but the backs aren’t planned for. The blank areas on the front are often found on the backs of old paintings. It’s getting a bit confusing now, as the fronts are often made from old backs and the backs are made from old fronts.”

  1. Ben Sanderson. Vault Azzurre, 2023. Ink, watercolour, monotype, acrylic, dye, oil on canvas. 140cm x 180cm. Credit: James Banister.
  2. Ben Sanderson. An Exhausted Red, 2023. Ink, watercolour, monotype, acrylic, dye, oil on canvas. 155cm x 280cm. Credit: James Banister.
  3. Ben Sanderson. Between Green, 2023. Ink, watercolour, monotype, acrylic, charcoal, dye, oil on canvas. 170cm x 280cm. Credit: James Banister.
  4. Ben Sanderson. Hypnagogic, 2023. Ink, watercolour, monotype, acrylic, charcoal, dye, oil on canvas. 99cm x 280cm. Credit: James Banister.

Upcoming events

Saturday, July 20
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Hettie Judah, writer and exhibition curator, shares insights from her research for her book, Acts of Creation: On Art and Motherhood which explores the joys, messes, myths and mishaps of parenting through visual culture.
Wednesday, July 24
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Take a deeper lunchtime look into ‘The Time is Always Now: Artists Reframe the Black Figure’.
Saturday, July 27
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Come and immerse yourselves in an exhibition that explores pivotal moments in Plymouth’s past and present relationship with the sea.
Saturday, August 3
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Join Devon Wildlife Trust’s Marine Engagement team for FREE for exciting monthly sea watches at Wembury Point! Explore Devon’s vibrant marine life every first Saturday.

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