Ben Whitehouse is a painter and video artist. He was born in 1962, son of film maker Ronnie Whitehouse and brother of Harvey Whitehouse, a leading figure in the cognitive science of religion (Oxford). The family moved to Hampstead in London just after Ben was born, an area known for its intellectual, artistic and literary residents many of whom care deeply about environment. His father made a short documentary about the dangers of pollution and abuse of natural resources in 1970. What he learned from his research had troubled him greatly and these issues became a regular topic of conversation in the Whitehouse home. Not surprisingly Ben grew up deeply concerned about it himself. Ben has spent the last twenty-five years seeking new ways of making art to explore environment as an evolving and delicately balanced continuum of experiences. He considers this an idea important to understand more deeply if we are to forge a better and more progressive relationship to it.
Ben came to the US as a student in 1980. He studied under Maya Angelou as an undergraduate at Wake Forest and later under Vera Klement and Charles Harrison as a graduate student at the University of Chicago. All three are major influences on his life and art. Ben first came to prominence in the mid 1990’s as a gifted painter of space and light with exhibitions in New York, Chicago and London that received positive reviews. (Artforum) Art dealer Charles Belloc Lowndes introduced Ben's work to Colin and Isabella Cawdor who subsequently invited him to stay at Cawdor in 1998 as Artist-In-Residence. By 2003, Ben had began to look for new ways of expressing the moment-to-moment changes of movement and light that inform our experience of place and in 2006, after much experimentation, he began two new series' of works - the Revolution Series (twenty four hour videos) and the Watch Series (twenty four hour paintings). First exhibited by John Brunetti at Alfedena (Chicago), Revolutions are something of a media first in that they are fully twenty four hours long and viewed in the same amount of time. Both Revolution and Watch have since been exhibited at museums and galleries across the US. Highlights include a 2006 Times Square installation of Revolution North Bar Lake (Astrovision screen) and a 2010 invitation from the English Heritage Foundation to make Revolution Stonehenge for which he was granted twenty-four hour access to the stones. Ben's latest project is Horizons, a series of colour field diptychs that focus on observed light relationships at the horizon of large bodies of water.
Inspired by conversations with Yo-Yo Ma and Ed Lu Ben founded Only One Sky in 2014, an educational not-for-profit with the mission of offering young people inspiring citizen art and citizen science initiatives on global sustainability. He serves as Executive Director.
Ben’s work has been exhibited at over twenty art museums and galleries including installations at the Crocker Art Museum, The Grand Rapids Art Museum, Gallery Henoch (NY), Flowers East (London), the McNay Art Museum, and the Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts. He also seeks alternative exhibition spaces to engage new audiences. In 2012, for example, he created an installation in the chapel of a Chicago area church and in 2015 he completed a two year commission for Stephen Alltop and the Elmhurst Symphony Orchestra in which he created a series of video projections for performances of Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons. He lives in the Chicago area.