Ben Elwes’ practice uses digital and analogue still photography, HD video and mixed media. Elwes is interested in certain stories and patterns that life produces inspired by his own observations. These situations can develop to be the basis of a new idea that he dedicates himself to for months or even years. Although themes can appear localised or personal, they often involve issues that are collectively shared.
A significant theme that underlies Elwes’ work is events that identify and denote change: in a world of flux important moments pass quickly and are soon superseded by others. Elwes’ work is concerned with such situations, whether a closing chain store, a political event, a social group or just a transient advertising campaign.
A recurring theme is the consumer environment as a backdrop to our lives, where we are the audience. News, advertising and marketing campaigns are channelled to command our collective attention through the media. Powers we cannot quantify impact and permeate our lives on a daily basis, influencing our psychology, judgement and values, in both the private and public space. This appears to be the price we pay for living in an intense consumer driven environment or Capitalist society in the 21st Century.
Elwes uses types of consumer related material for his work; cars, retail displays, TV transmissions and discarded polystyrene packaging have all been subject matter for his work.
Elwes’ work has been exhibited at national and international venues including the National Portrait Gallery and The Photographers’ Gallery in London, Gothenburg in Sweden and with Fetart in Arles and Paris. He presently divides his time between Europe and México. In México his work has been exhibited in government institutions and private galleries including Centro Cultural Manuel Gómez Morín Santiago de Querétaro and Fifi Projects, México City.CV download available as PDF