Press Release






1st – 15th of May 2017. Every day 11am- 7 pm.

Established Brighton abstract artist Ben Fearnside launches solo exhibition of all-new work at Gallery 40,

for Brighton Fringe Festival.

Metal on Canvas is an alchemy of raw metals. Bronze, copper, iron, silver and gold, combine with shellacs, polishes, inks and washes in a rich light-responsive finish. Dark as thunder, light as a stained-glass window. Contained abstract geometry suggests planets, cityscapes, field patterns, rock-strata, the view through a microscope. Slow change over time and tipping-points.



During the exhibition, Ben Fearnside is donating one of his paintings to raise money for an important local health service.

Ben said, “Someone close to me lives with HIV and the Sussex Beacon helped her at a very dark time. The Beacon’s unique services are under threat and we hope our charity auction will help raise awareness and funds. My paintings are about light, which seems fitting for The Beacon.”

To place a bid in the Metal on Canvas art auction, come to Gallery 40 any time during exhibition opening-hours and write your bid in a sealed envelope. The envelopes will be opened and the winners announced on Saturday 13th at 6pm. Come along!


Ben’s mind is as mercurial as his materials: come and see a creative journey wrapped around the walls.




07908 201 809























My large abstract paintings are my life story, told through the art, design and crafts skills that I’ve acquired over 40 years. I’m not going to into great detail about what my artwork ‘means’, but I’m very happy to share a little of my journey.


I started young. My family owned Fearnside & Co Art Supplies in Worcester and Malvern. My childhood toys were paint, glue, clay and plaster.

Making and playing were the same thing to me (and on a good day, they still are).

A chequered academic career and a couple of years travelling eventually landed me on my feet at High Wycombe University, on the prestigious Furniture Design course. Once there I sneaked into other courses including silversmithing, metalwork, spray finishing, glass-work and furniture restoration. I absorbed it all and my graduation pieces were exhibited at the New Designers’ Exhibition.

I moved to Brighton and the city’s vibrant arts scene shifted me from 3D work to painting, often large-scale. I’ve always been fascinated by metallic work, texture and finish, but Brighton also brought out a slightly neglected side of my work: colour.


I put everything I’ve learned onto the canvas. My work combines glues, resins, real metals (powdered gold, silver, copper, bronze and iron, leaf metals), oils, acrylics, inks, acids, ammonia (resulting in an interesting evening in casualty... another story), Shellac and lacquer. These substances do not mix willingly. They have to be integrated through layering, juxtaposition, experimentation... and alchemy. The finished paintings are light-responsive, changing through the day. I leave some unsealed so they can oxidise naturally, with teal colours of Verdigris and blood and earth of rust.

I’ve now had four solo exhibitions in London and Brighton:


 The Expansion series explored the expansion of matter


 The Descent series explored the decent of particles


 The Colony series explored growth and order


 My current works explore containment fields


That’s the journey. I leave you to see what you see and let the paintings speak for themselves.


40 Gloucester Road - North Laine - Brighton - East Sussex - BN1 4AQ