Artist Ben Stockwell Teams Up With Waterworks To Celebrate H2O In Paint And Wood

A chance to see these beautiful works

Aqua Vita by Ben Stockwell is at 579-581 King's Road, Chelsea, London SW6 2EH from May 29 to June 11.

Moonlit Sea, oil on canvas by Ben Stockwell, 100 cm x 100cm

The exquisitely beautiful works of ocean painter Ben Stockwell will be on display at Waterworks King’s Road showroom from May 29 to June 11, celebrating the infinite possibilities of water …

Marine biologist and experienced diver, Ben Stockwell has had opportunities to see the seas and oceans of our planet at close hand - usually from underwater. His oil studies of the interplay of light and water are breath-taking and he captures the aquatic world with an energy and intimacy that set his work apart.

‘There are infinite possibilities,’ he explains. ‘The quality of light, particles in the water – algae or silt – and the angles of the viewpoint relative to the water surface.’

Each glimpse through the artist’s eyes is an intensely personal experience. Water appears as a childhood memory or as you imagine it in a dream – often much more splendid than the original experience.

‘My goal isn’t merely to paint water and its patterns, but to use and distort the qualities of light, colour and form, to evoke different emotions,’ he says. ‘For me it has to be a magical experience. I wouldn’t want to paint a murky sea in a photo-realist way.’

Multi-coloured Sea, oil on canvas by Ben Stockwell, 100cm x 100cm

There can’t be many artists who have explored their theme as in-depth as Ben. Since childhood he’s been diving, swimming and deep-sea fishing. Later, he carried out scientific research for a Masters in marine biology, exploring the remote waters around Sulawesi, Indonesia.

‘I know first-hand how sunrays look at most depths and light conditions,’ he explains. As he carried out his underwater research and waited to resurface, Ben took endless photographs of the light on the water. It is Ben’s ability to paint the water’s luminosity that really draws people to his work.

The collaboration with a bathroom showroom is an interesting concept since water has also been this luxury brand’s obsession. ‘At Waterworks the creation of fixtures and fittings for bathing has been a preoccupation for 30 years,’ says general manager Katy Gray. ‘How water is delivered is very important to us – not just on a functional level, but because we want to celebrate its power, its flow, its energy and design taps that display water elegantly.’

‘When we were looking for an artist to exhibit in our lower-ground-floor showroom, we were thrilled to discover Ben. He is passionate about the beauty of our blue planet and shares our goal of giving this precious natural resource the attention and glory it deserves.’

‘Of course I really care about ecological issues and the pressures facing our oceans – particularly as a scientist – but with painting I feel I can make a larger impact. I intend to do so much more and I’m already thinking of other ideas; there will also be the chance at Waterworks showroom to view my first-ever pieces of sculpture, created from flotsam and also with a watery theme.’

Aqua Vita by Ben Stockwell is at 579-581 King's Road, Chelsea, London SW6 2EH from May 29 to June 11.

The final day of the exhibition will coincide with the annual street party of the Chelsea Design Quarter - on Thursday June 11 - where visitors can enjoy food, entertainment and the late night opening of showrooms.

Sea Circulaire, oil on canvas by Ben Stockwell, 150cm x 120cm


May 26, 2015