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Ben Cauchi

Ben Cauchi’s Biography

Last Updated:
16/05/2019, 2:35 pm
New Generation 2011
"Ben Cauchi's photographs seem to penetrate into some subliminal realm of memory; they feel at once oddly familiar and uncannily distant - haunting reminders that the past was also present and the present is becoming the past." (Art Gallery of NSW)

Ben Cauchi was born in 1974 in Auckland. He developed a keen interest in history at an early age, coming to photography in his mid 20's, inspired by the work of the medium's pioneers. It was the craft and the physicality of the photographic object that resonated at first, as well as photography's inexorable associations to memory and the past.

Since completing his studies at Massey University, Wellington in 2000 Ben has become highly recognised both for the ‘wet-plate' processes, which he has used almost exclusively since 2002, and the intriguing photographs he creates. In 2007 he was the Francis Hodgkins Fellow at the University of Otago in Dunedin. This proved to be a key year as his work started to shift from the mystical and spiritualist concerns of his earlier practice, to tackling more psychological subjects. The resulting exhibition, Dead Time, was mounted at the Hocken Gallery in Dunedin and also toured to Christchurch Art Gallery.

In 2011 Ben completed the Rita Angus Cottage residency in Wellington and has commenced the McCahon House residency in Auckland. He is also working towards a solo show at City Gallery, Wellington, which will open in October 2012. His work has been collected by every major public collection in New Zealand, as well as the University of Wollongong and the National Gallery of Australia. A significant holding of his work is also housed at the Art Gallery of New South Wales.

Ben was the recipient of an Arts Foundation New Generation Award in 2011. New Generation artists have assured potential. Their work is exciting. They are independent, individual and show outstanding promise. They also display a depth of thinking and consistency that gives their work strength.

In 2012 Ben was awarded the Creative New Zealand Berlin Visual Artists Residency at the Künstlerhaus Bethanien in Berlin.