Interview: The dog that digs deepest finds the bones with Ben Weller
Clear, crisp and concise connections are often hard to pursue naturally and even harder to reciprocate through the lens. In Ben Weller’s new show, part of an ongoing series, we get more than a glimpse of this challenging undertaking. We touched base with Ben and asked some quick-fire questions before his upcoming show at Jupiter Gallery in Newlyn, Cornwall.
The show, The dog that digs deepest finds the bones, runs from 29th August - 4th September.
Yew! Magazine: Love the name of the show, can you tell us a bit more about it? How did it come about?
Ben Weller: It’s an old gypsy saying that has stuck with me ever since I heard it and it pretty much sums up the essence of the show.
Yew! Magazine: How did you approach this body of work differently to some of your previous projects?
Ben Weller: It’s part of a few ongoing series work that I’m showing under the same umbrella. It’s been interesting editing it for a gallery wall, you have to think about it in a certain way. I’ll be interested to see how the pictures will work together and what the viewer will make of it.
Yew! Magazine: What was the initial inspiration for it and did you face any challenges?
Ben Weller: The environments I make these pictures in were usually quite challenging. Whether it was a cattle ranch in Montana, a builders yard or a boxing club in Essex, they are difficult places to navigate socially and make pictures- but it was a challenge that I really enjoyed. These are hardy environments but I met some of the kindest and most generous people whilst making this work.
Yew! Magazine: I can see from your previous work that you’ve worked all over the globe. What is your connection to Cornwall and how does it play in your work and/or this show?
Ben Weller: I live with my young family in the far west of Cornwall. I find it the most inspiring place on the planet for me with it’s rich artistic heritage and awe-inspiring landscape.
Yew! Magazine: Is there a relationship between your commercial and personal work? Do the two feed into each other, or do you try and establish some boundaries?
Ben Weller: Good question. Sometimes they overlap and that’s a bonus when it happens. All photography, whether self initiated or commissioned, trains my eye and keeps me sharp. Sometimes I’ll be on a set with 80 people on a beach far far away and other times it will just be me, my assistant and my large format camera making photographs in the middle of nowhere. As long as I’m taking pictures and testing myself creatively, I’m happy.
Yew! Magazine: On the same note, how does your approach differ when working with a professional model compared to someone without modeling experience?
Ben Weller: I try to treat all people equally and provide the same direction and connection to everyone I photograph. It’s about making them feel comfortable and at ease.
Yew! Magazine: Do you have any other upcoming projects?
Ben Weller: I’m currently working on a few projects locally in this part of Cornwall and I have a couple of book projects in the works too.
︎ Follow Ben on Instagram.
Tags | Q&A, Interview