Ben Cowan

Ben Cowan

I don't always start with the end in mind; perhaps I should. I've never had a career, but I've worked with amazing people delivering medical relief in places that you can't go on holiday. I've seen a world of beauty, despite being full of flaws. Many humanitarian workers get what's called, 'coming home blues'. When we return, we miss the life and death decisions, the sense of purpose and the adventure!

Now I identify as an artist; one who is searching for something tangible and meaningful. My process typically starts with an idea, rather than a completed piece or image. An idea that says something about how we live; our relationship with our ecology, our social habits and philosophical underpinnings.

What started with a love of reclaimed wood ('Timberlust') led to a fascination with our cultural heritage and creating a second life for objects that have outlived their usefulness ('up-cycling'). Within the new SMART INK umbrella, there is SMART LIGHTING, under which you will find unique elegantly-poised naked filament lamps, transformed from industrial and cultural objects. Increasingly, to make sense of what I see, I render my ideas digitally. I am inspired by the connections between literature, idling, politics and activism. To achieve this, I love to work with text and visuals and playfully subvert iconic images or popular culture as art that makes you think. As SMART EXHIBITIONS and PRINTS, I create mixed-media canvases and digital creations as wall art, Giclee prints and other media.

You can see more of my work at smart-ink.biz