Ben Edge tells us about ‘Folk Renaissance’ & Electric Pencils.

Ben Edge has a new band ‘Ben Edge and the Electric Pencils’ and a new Exhibition ‘Folk Renaissance’ opening next week FAD catch up with him to find out more..


Ben Edge Self Portrait with Mirror

1 How do you choose the subjects for your paintings?

I really just look to all the things that interest me and research these subjects extensively. Once I get started on this, characters and stories crop up that captivate me. I then start researching into these individuals stories and this becomes the starting point for a new painting. It’s an ongoing process and each painting seems to lead on to the next.

Ben Edge The Missionary
Ben Edge The Missionary

2 What’s most important – the way people look or their back story?

It would be the back story. Once I have found a character or a subject matter that I have connected with I then start sourcing the images that I am going to use to construct the composition.

3 Does the title of the exhibition reflect only the exhibition itself, or also the music your band plays?

The music side of things didn’t really come into consideration whilst coming up with the name. It’s something that’s been in my head for a while. With each of my paintings I feel that I am giving a new life to the person’s story that I am depicting. So with Folk meaning ‘ordinary people’ and renaissance meaning ‘a revival of a renewed interest in something’ I feel that this captures what I do. I am also influenced by Folk art and Northern Renaissance painting. So for me the title works on many levels.

4 Do you feel you may need to make a choice between art or music or have you made that choice already?

I just naturally seem to do both and have since a young age. Music is a good complimentary thing to art as I spend a lot of my time alone painting. So its a good to get out the house and to do something that is more social. It gives me balance. I also have ideas that work better in music and ideas that work better in Paintings. For me its the two ways that my ideas are best expressed in and what i am passionate about.

Ben Edge  Moondog
Ben Edge Moondog

5) Whats next for the art and the band?

I have already began working on a new series of paintings. With music I am in the process of launching my new band ‘Ben Edge and the Electric Pencils’ we have a debut album written and recorded. I am also interested in combining art and music for my next series. This is something I am also working on.

6) Do you ever start a portrait and not complete it?

Yes quite a few pieces of my work have ended up in the bin and also on one occasion the bottom of the River Lea.

Ben Edge Folk Renaissance 14th March – 16th April – Art Opening Monday 13th March cnbgallery.com


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About Mark Westall

Mark Westall is the Founder and Editor of FAD magazine, ' A curation of the world’s most interesting culture' [PLUS] Art of Conversation: A tri-annual 'no news paper' AofC - Issue 1 Autumn 2018