Terroir Q&A Series: Ben Mosher
Ben Mosher's Terroir Q&A provides insight into his practice and his Nova Scotian roots that inform his work in this exhibition. For more information about Mosher's practice visit http://benmosherarts.tumblr.com/
Terroir: a Nova Scotia Survey is on view until January 15, 2017. The accompanying exhibition publication is now available for sale at the Gallery Shop.
What is your connection to Nova Scotia, and why were you inspired to submit a work for this exhibition?
My connection to Nova Scotia is a simple one. I was born here, in the town of Kentville and grew up in the community of Canaan in the Annapolis Valley. I eventually moved to Ontario for a time and began to see many of my works relating to or recalling my childhood in Nova Scotia. This connection strengthened over the years spent away. I knew I had to return to Nova Scotia before too long so I felt compelled to submit for the exhibition Terroir at the insistence of my sister Sarah.
Can you tell us a little about your work that is on view?
My work is a distillation of ideas I was working through at the time of its conception, ideas of how the digital relates to the physical and of the action of archiving and storing information and histories. Each of these pieces play a role in creating a sort of narrative of my personal history combined with elements that in save, or keep the item or memory safe or unfold a bit of the
story with an open ended minimalism.
Your work is on view along with 28 other artists. How do you see your work within the context of this group exhibition?
When I look at my own little wooden pieces hung in this grand gallery (the first gallery I remember being in when I was little) I see ideas that tie between my pieces and the others in the exhibition. Perceptions of our cultural histories and our own personal histories. As well our inherent connection to the sea that surrounds us, which its fluidity and power has a noticeable impact on much of the work.
What are you working on in now, or planning for the near future?
Recently I have been chosen to participate in Visual Arts Nova Scotia's mentorship for the arts program. Through this program I have been paired with local artist Craig Leonard. As well I have been keeping an active studio practice in the city creating small works and digital based forms over the last year. I have recently compiled a book documenting a drifting walk I took in Halifax last month.
How has your artistic process developed over time? What informs your practice?
My practice has a relatively short history so its evolution I believe to mostly be in the future than in the past, at this time. It seems though that my work changes with the places and the spaces that accompany me at the time, I am left to use whatever material surrounds me at any given time. This means that whatever is around me informs what I create, this goes for material but also the head spaces that I find myself in.
When you’re not working, what are activities/interests that inspire your practice?
When I am not work or refreshing the call for submission pages I can commonly be found zipping along on my bike to either the central library or the Trident coffeeshop. Cursory research is a huge interest of mine. Relevant or none relevant I often am looking at some wiki page or website or book while sipping a tea. These things lead me on new projects and ideas and tangents to explore.
[All Images] Ben Mosher, Drift Assembled (detail), 2015-ongoing, found wood and object assemblage, dimensions variable. Courtesy of the artist. Photo: Raw Photography.