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  • Writer's pictureBen Browton


I've been away from my art-making activity for some long months. Following the death of my dear sister in October 2021, a further blow was the death of my father in May of this year. Bereavement somehow causes life to go into slow motion, and forces one into a great deal of self-examination. It's about hitting some of the BIG questions - who am I, where am I from and where am I going?

I've made sporadic forays into my studio over the past months, and even completed a couple of works: 'Spoon-fed' and 'Homage to The Sperm', and set up a further work 'Mixed Fortunes' and have another provisionally entitled 'Gloveliness' in progress. It's been a slow process, but there has been a comfort in settling into the creative atmosphere of my studio in Bexhill and working with the materials that I find meaningful. It's a process that involves the hands, the head and the heart. And now a healing process as I try to re-establish my identity, shorn as it has become with the death of 2 close family members. And the presence of the other artists in my studio building has been a comfort and a constant reminder that art must go on. Bereavement brings on this prolonged state of cogitation, and it has been a motivational spur to be amongst the living and the working.

Today the videographer Mark Curry came to my studio to record a video for the local arts festival Coastal Currents. The whole morning with Mark was an incredibly life-affirming experience: we got deeply into discussing my work on many levels and with a great intensity. I found the whole experience hugely cathartic and invigorating. I heard myself talk about my creative life stretching back many years into the past and I realised that I'm proud of the work I make, and I'm proud of the fact that I have hammered away for my whole life on creative endeavours. More than this, being with Mark and his camera today re-affirmed my personal committment to keep on hammering away....because my life depends on it.

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