The mechanical side of photography has never really appealed to me anywhere near as much as the alchemical. Equally, what an object or subject actually is in the real world of the studio has never been as important as what we interpret it as being - that's what really counts. In the end, though, I suppose it's photography's ability to shift things a bit more into that grey area between truth and untruth that I enjoy the most.

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.

 
Death of an artist
From the Dark Chambers series



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. 

Video

2011
Ben Cauchi describes his photographic processes on Television New Zealand's 'The Gravy' | Series Four
2011
Ben Cauchi was selected as an Arts Foundation New Generation Award recipient in 2011. This video was produced in a partnership between the Arts Foundation and TVNZ 7.

Galleries

2010
A cased portfolio consisting of a suite of six salt prints and three letterpress-printed prelims. Released in December 2010 in an edition of six, including one artist’s copy.
20082010
"There's really very little that is concrete in this world, the majority of life and truth is open to interpretation and up for debate. I think it's in these areas that photography's greatest deceits lie."
Ben Cauchi
1974
Born, Auckland New Zealand
1999-2000
Advanced Diploma in Photography, Massey University, Wellington
2003
Home Sweet Home: works from the Peter Fay collection, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
2005
Smoke and Mirrors, Aratoi, Masterton and Te Manawa, Palmerston North;Photo-London, Royal Academy of Art, London
2005-06
Artist in Residency, Tylee Cottage, Whanganui
2006
Break: Construct, Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, New Plymouth;Tall Tales and History Lessons: contemporary New Zealand art from the 19th century, Dunedin Public Art Gallery, Dunedin
2007
Frances Hodgkins Fellow, University of Otago, Dunedin
2008
Dead Time, Hocken Gallery, Dunedin and Christchurch Art Gallery, Christchurch;Lull, Sarjeant Gallery, Whanganui;Borderland, Brett McDowell Gallery, DunedinThink Again, Rachmaninoff's, London
2010
The Claim, Darren Knight Gallery, Sydney;The Doppler Effect, McNamara Gallery: Photography, Whanganui
2011
Artist in Residence, Rita Angus Cottage, Wellington;Collecting Contemporary, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington;What's in a Face? Aspects of portrait photography, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney;Arts Foundation New Generation Award recipient
2011-12
Artist in Residence, McCahon House, Auckland;
2012
Awarded Creative New Zealand Berlin Visual Artists Residency - Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin;Ben Cauchi: The Sophist's Mirror, a major exhibition at the City Gallery, Wellington