Top image: Ben Cove making A Structure to Stand Up In, during his residency at Art Gene
We first met Ben Cove in his home town at Castlefield Gallery, Manchester, which is run by Kwong Lee, (then) one of our Trustees. Ben later submitted work for Art Gene’s NW Open Prize 2005 exhibition and was awarded a two month residency at Art Gene.
This took some time to come to fruition as we first had to fund raise for and install suitable facilities in studio 5 and a lift down a flight of steps to Art Gene’s office. Working around Ben’s availability we were finally able to welcome Ben to Art Gene in 2007. We were particularly interested in the relationship between Ben’s artistic practice and his long-standing interest in architecture.
His use of humour allied to the poignancy of his commentary appealed to the panel of judges. His diverse portfolio of work which covers painting, print making, sculpture, drawing and photography, and his artworks on the edges of architecture were also of interest.
Ben originally trained in architecture before completing degrees in Fine Art and we were interested to gain a better understanding of how this informed his practice and discover any further parallels between his work and that of Art Gene’s research remit: the role of artists and architects in Re-Visioning the regeneration of the social, natural and built environment.