Benjamin Phillips

Location: North London

If it’s true that one’s upbringing shapes what you’ll become, then being the son of a master craftsman oil painter and driftwood sculptor is certainly true for me. My earliest memories are of art. I remember spending hours being obsessed by colour, of shading and sketching imaginary landscapes. This, naturally, spilled from my home life to school, and right from the start of my education my work was singled out as something special. This culminated in a first class BA (Hons) degree in Fine Art from the University of Hertfordshire.

Post-uni, financial pressure saw me following a career in finance. It paid the bills, but it didn’t even come close to satisfying the longing that lay deep within me – the creation of art. I craved my daily escape from the City of London to the welcoming space of my studio, dispersing the frustrations of the day onto canvas through the use of colour, light, dark and form. It was my time to release, my time to create and to feel at peace – a complete antithesis to the madness of the banking world.
Living this life of polar opposites, it should come as no surprise that my style developed and evolved into one that embraces paradoxical, contrary themes. Black with bursts of bright colour, the battle between light and dark, form versus nothingness… Chaos and order face each other, meeting but never quite merging, complimenting but never becoming one – but ending with an ethereal, aesthetic beauty that reflects the deepest, most intimate layers within me.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that my work is an expression of everything that makes me as a person. Years of working in a high-pressure environment saw art become my form of escape, and my style is one borne of frustration. Yet the explosiveness is challenged by my internal love of fine art, delicacy and penchant towards all things spiritual.

Despite art being my one true love (along with my partner, Sophia), it took a cancer scare for me to make the leap from art as a hobby to art as a career. I now work from my studio in London, creating commissions around the world for private individuals, corporate projects and everything in between.

I paint primarily on large canvas. This allows the space for contemplation, creative freedom and experimentation. I love the abstract; I love colour as form, using the relationships between shades to create light, space and temperature, for these truly allow an image to become alive. I utilise rollers, sponges, palatte knives and cloth in my creations. The relationship between the canvas and I is deeply intimate, and the use of such tools before picking up a brush allows for deep connection. Then when I finally begin to ‘paint’, I’m at ease and my expression flows onto the canvas.

I am what I create. And I create from the heart. I’d love to hear from you if you’d like to be part of my ever-evolving artistic journey.