With his work, university professor and artist Ben Ridgway invites viewers to make personal connections to the audio and visual without relying on narrative or spoken language. His animations are hypnotic explorations of nature and mechanics that take viewers on a journey that is hard to describe. We caught up with Ben for an insight into his wonderful art.
How do you hope to affect the viewer with your animation pieces?
When someone watches my films, I hope it invokes a sense of awe and personal connection to the abstract worlds I present. When we see abstract forms in motion and there is no story or narrative, we use other parts of our brains to process what we are seeing.
Often times we can still make a narrative out of seemingly random events. We can use memories or archetypical forms to create personal meaning behind what we are looking at.
The soundscapes that are paired with your films are beautifully ethereal and transform the experience. Do you create them yourself?
I compose the soundscapes myself using sound effects libraries. I’m not a musician myself so I rely on intuition to guide my choices of music and sound effects.
My goal is always to create a feeling of synesthesia through making an auditory parallel with the visuals.
Is there a recurrent theme that exists throughout your works?
I would say that my films centre on time, cycles, abstraction, illusions, and the concept of infinity. I can see limitless possibilities through exploring these features of reality.
How long does it typically take you to create a film piece? What is the process?
I have never tracked exactly how long they take to make but I sink hundreds of hours into each film. My goal is to make one film per year.
What drives you to keep creating?
I look at a lot of painters and sculptors these days. Books by Mars-1, Andrew Jones, Chris Dyer, Alex Grey, and Oliver Vernon are sitting here next to my workstation. I also like looking at mural art and architecture. I recently got turned on to Eugene Sway’s organic architecture. I love that stuff.
In the future, 3D printing may be able to yield novel livable forms like this. I would love to design some large scale organic architectural forms in the future.
What inspires your work?
Nature and mechanics are definitely at the core of my work. We often think of the natural world and technology as separate from one another, but they are actually all a product of nature.
I like to explore these ideas through making imagery that is inspired by nature, biomechanical forms, and ephemeral forms in motion.