Ben Pearce

Space Cave, 2016, sandblasted black walnut, 380mm x 210mm x 190mm


Ben Pearce is a New Zealand based sculptor who works with wood, stone, metal and found objects. His art explores memory and reconciles it thoughts of childhood – a recent and common ancestor to us all. He strives to make visible the quirks and tragedies of our mind’s recording machinations, to materialise the emotional states that can cripple our bodies and which often distort the way we record time and memory.

Pearce’s sculptures exist within his internal landscape but they also seek to co-exist as time-travellers into the viewer’s world. His recent work employs found objects that are reshaped into forms suggestive of scientific apparatus or adjunct experiments. Works shift from one material to another, changing form and shape shifting as if the works are in a slow state of transmutation. The assemblage work of Pearce regularly features rock like formations, which often mimic everyday objects such as furniture or geological structures.

Pearce completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2003, majoring in sculpture, at Wanganui Quay School of Fine Arts. Exhibiting regularly in New Zealand, Pearce has work held in the public collection of the Sargeant Gallery, Wanganui, and in private collections throughout New Zealand, England and the USA. He has had work included in group shows exploring contemporary sculpture at The Suter Art Gallery and The City Gallery Wellington. Pearce is the recent recipient of the No. 8 Wire National Art Award (2016), the Waikato Youth Art Award (2009), and the Wallace Art Award People’s Choice Award (2009). Pearce has also been included in Warwick Brown’s book Seen this Century, which features 100 contemporary New Zealand artists including sculptors, painters, printmakers and photographers. 

Born: Palmerston North, 1982
Lives: Napier
Education: Bachelor of Fine Art, Wanganui Quay School of FIne Arts (2003)
Awards/Distinctions: The National Contemporary Art Award - Finalist (2016), The Wallace Art Awards - Finalist (2009, 2008); The Wallace Art Awards - People's Choice Award (2009); Waikato Youth Award - Winner (2009)
Collections: The Sarjeant Gallery Collection, Wanganui; The James Wallace Arts Trust, Auckland
Public Exhibitions: The Obstinate Object, City Gallery, Wellington (2012); DIONOIA: A Diorama of Paranoia, The Suter Art Gallery Te Aratoi o Whakatu (2011)
Publications/Articles: Chitham, Karl, Nervous System, Dunedin: Blue Oyster Art Project Space, 2011; Brown, Warwick, Seen This Century, North Shore City: Random House NZ, 2009
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