ben cook

Ben Cook, Toxix Paradox, 2009Ben examines the landscape of Cornwall as both a surfer and an artist, often highlighting the key issues in surfing culture and how popular culture affects the landscape we live in. His work is influenced by his relationship with the sea, as surfing has become his way of interacting with the landscape.

Working in a variety of mediums, Ben combines surfing prowess with his art. Even in terms of materials, his work mirrors his sport as he explores the qualities of surfboard materials, such as wood, resin and foam. Ben questions the current consumer-led fashion for, and insistence on, a pure white surfboard blank. He believes that surfers are so dependent and immersed in nature that they out to be the first people to question prevailing technology and adopt new materials.

These concerns are evident in his Toxix Paradox (2010) where Ben depicts a flowerhead made from collaged surf boards and wetsuits. Here he is highlighting the issue of toxic materials used in surfing equipment, and the conflict with the sport’s green image and the marine environment. Toxix Paradox has been kindly loaned to White Moose by the Museum of British Surfing for this exhibition.

For more information see Alex Wade’s article ‘Ben Cook : Surf Art and the Semiotics of Surfing