Wonder; Ben Javen

When I walked into the exhibition of Wonder, for the first time, my eyes were immediately drawn to the brightly coloured diorama situated off the the right hand side of then enterance. There are tree cut outs, logs, to sit on, and in the middle is a picture of a young girl who looks like she is in the speckled light of a forest.

This piece is big and bold, full of warm bright colours that make me think of late summer, when the water in the plants is low, and the colours are moving toward autumnal. Its still warm enough to walk out in the evening in shorts, but the nights are starting to draw in, and getting dark earlier. It is the time of year that I love, and the palette that Ben has used provokes a lot of positivity for me.

As a Painter, it also hits me that Ben has started with the painting Primary colours (pigments) ; Magenta, Cyan, Yellow and Black. This creates Bold imagery, and his simplistic imagery is very clean. I love that this leaves your imagination to make this into what you need it to be from your childhood. My first thoughts were “Alice through the looking glass” and “Goldilocks”. It is no surprise to find out that Ben illustrates for a living. I also was reminded of the Stewart Easton exhibit that was in the Herbert last year.

Picture wall viewed with Edie’s hidden creatures

There is a hole that you can climb through to the next room, and this turns out to be a picture frame, and makes a perfect place for pictures to be taken. This was definitely a wonderful idea, and I’m sure people will see all these on social media and come to get a snap of themselves!

On the other side of the wall, is a combination of Herbert collection paintings, and pieces by Ben. This reminded me of some of the works I saw recently at The Tate Britain “Van Gogh in Britain” exhibition I was luck enough to see last month.

Viewed through Julia’s Light Pavillion

To learn more about Ben and his art, please visit WONDER at The Herbert, which is on until 15th September. Or visit his website.

* Writers Note;

As an Artist myself, I have purposely taken abstract photos of the pieces of art wherever possible so that you can go an view the exhibit and still see the WONDER through fresh eyes. Nothing worse then to many Spoilers!

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