Ben Burgess – Top Arts 2013

I graduated from Haileybury College last year. Year 12 was by the far the most hectic year I undertook during my schooling life and I completely blame myself for that. I have an extreme fear of boredom, which meant that I took on everything from school plays to rowing and even entering wood turning competitions, to ensure that dullness didn’t take its toll on my final year. Studio Art became my outlet subject. It was a time that allowed me to be creative and make art for my own personal satisfaction.
The year found me exploring the theme of ‘obsession’ and through this exploration I myself became obsessed with finding out what obsession was and what it meant to the people around me. Being a self-taught photographer for the better part of four years, I decided to dive into everything but photography in my Studio Arts class. This meant doing etching prints, drawing, painting, stencilling, installations and so on. This exploration of unfamiliar processes was undoubtedly the reason I wound up creating the artwork that was ultimately chosen for Top Arts 2013. My artwork on display is comprised of cardboard and enamel spray paint and was a very ‘spur of the moment’ creation. It was a quick, almost rushed process that took place in my garage and resulted in approximately 45 individual pieces being created. Each piece of cardboard is brought to life with faces that I constructed with a continuous flow of paint and with my eyes closed.
As of this year I am back to my photographic ways, undertaking a Bachelor of Fine Arts: Photography at RMIT. I can honestly say that I have learnt more about art in the past few months than I had ever learnt prior, whilst also getting some awesome jobs along the way. As time progresses I am slowly beginning to see a career in the art scene for myself and I owe a lot of that to my involvement in Top Arts this year. Having travelled a lot as a youngster, I love the thought of being able to base myself overseas whilst documenting different cultures through artwork and discovering what the world has to offer.