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Ouroboros at MIRROR, Arts University Plymouth

Monday, March 11


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

Wednesday, June 19
Untitled design (13)
Bringing together four distinct painters – Bernadette Kerrigan, Chris Martin, Daniel Pettitt, and EJ Hauser – Everything That Happens Will Happen Today explores the formal and informal ways each of them make sense of the world through paint.
Thursday, June 20
At The Box Plymouth this winter season
Thursday, June 20
Untitled (1000 × 800 px) (10)
A space to talk about creative business. Share ideas, opinions, and feelings about your professional or developing experience.
Saturday, June 22
Untitled design (15)
From mermaid purse making at the National Marine Aquarium to free bike rides at Victoria Park or crafts at Central library to immersive screenings at Market Hall there is something for everyone! 

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