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Von Guerard 2.1

By Ben Fennessy

acrylic and oil on board
63x122cm framed


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"The environment of South West Victoria is a great source of artistic inspiration for my landscape paintings. Having lived in the bush and on the coast, in Wadawurrung Country, and now in the shadow of Koroitj/Tower Hill, on Gundjitmara land, for most of my life, these wild and beautiful vistas have seeped into my soul.

This body of work is a small sample of my passion for place. I am particularly focused on the play of light on the horizon and the changes that the weather and seasons bring.

The paintings are mixed media – oil on canvas and board, and acrylic on board – painted in my studio, from memory, sketches and photographs."


Ben Fennessy is a painter and printmaker. He was born in Melbourne in 1952 and at thirteen began taking painting and drawing lessons from Bill Coleman (painter and printmaker from the George Bell School).

Ben won a scholarship to attend the National Gallery Art School, Melbourne, when he was sixteen. He studied painting and drawing in the 1960s and did further studies at the Victorian College of the Arts in the 1980s. Ben has been a practising artist for over half a century, has exhibited widely and was a tertiary arts educator in Geelong for many years. Landscape is the primary inspiration for his artwork, in particular the environment of the wild Victorian South West Coast and the volcanic plains, especially his current fascination, Tower Hill.

Ben draws upon the influence of artists such as John Constable, Thomas Gainsborough, William Turner and Fred Williams in his use of light. At the root of his work is the English tradition of landscape painting, the pastoral and romantic landscapes, however, the intense contrasts of colour in Fennessy’s paintings and prints evoke the drama inherent in the Australian environment - fire, flood and ocean gales.