Ben Tooth (b. 1992, Sydney)


Ben Tooth is a Sculptor based in Walcha, NSW. Tooth majored in Sculpture during his BFA at National Art School in Darlinghurst, Sydney. After graduating Tooth relocated his practice to Walcha to assist his artistic mentor Stephen King full-time. Tooth's work combines modern artistic practices with traditional building techniques. Tooth prodominantly works with Australian hardwoods because of their weight, density and longevity. His sculpture “I Beam” was recently awarded the Moolarben Acquisition Prize in 2019 at SITG in Mudgee, NSW


It is hard to separate Tooth’s artistic practice from his everyday interaction with the natural world. Cognisant of his craft’s age-old dependence on and interrogation of the natural properties of wood, he sees his artistic work as partly a reflection on the sculptor’s relationship to the living source of his medium, and humanity’s increasingly fraught relationship with it – in particular the effects of deforestation and unsustainable timber harvesting practices. In 2017 a freak weather event, dubbed an ‘inland cyclone’, tore through his hometown of Walcha, uprooting over 200,000 trees. The devastation was indiscriminate: trees young and old, light and immature or sturdy with established root systems, formed an arboreal graveyard in the storm’s path across the district. These same timber populations, barely a year later, were among the first to be ravaged by the 2019/20 bushfires, the worst recorded anywhere in the world. To Tooth these events are not coincidental; they are direct protests by an increasingly fragile natural world under assault. His practice already defined by a deep and abiding love of native timbers, these events spurred Tooth to use only wood collected from devastated nearby farms – giving the wood a new life after its former was cut short. His simply styled constructions echo the

postures of trunks and limbs in their natural environments. Living and working on a farm, Tooth sees his works as abstracted distillations of the rich and diverse tree-life that surrounds him. Tooth delights in the manipulation of negative space and rudimentary geometric form to create works of hard, elegant simplicity


Education


Bachelor of Fine Art (Sculpture), National Art School, Darlinghurst, Sydney

2015


Awards & Prizes


Moolarben Acquisition Prize, Sculptures in the Garden, Mudgee, NSW

2016


Commissions & Collections

T Bar The Armidale School, Armidale, NSW

2019


Taurean Ladder, Mona Farm, Braidwood, NSW

2019


Ram, Walcha Rugby Club, Walcha

2017


Memorial Sculpture, New England Girls School, Armidale

2016


Installation

Assistant to Stephen King, sculptor - building, installing and deinstalling sculpture.


Carbon Store, Walcha, NSW

2020


Capture and store, Harden, NSW

2019


Capture and store, Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi, NSW

2019


World War Two Memorial, Memorial Park, Walcha, NSW

2019


The Grid, Brayton, NSW

2018


Grid Study, Walcha, NSW

2018


Walcha Sculpture Symposium, Walcha, NSW

2018


Light Beam, Tamworth Regional Gallery

2018


The Folly, Mona Farm, Braidwood, NSW

2018


The Grid, Hillview Sculpture Park, Sutton Forest, NSW

2018


Flowform IX, Oberon, NSW

2016


The Grid, Sculpture by the Sea, Aarhus, Denmark

2015


Flowform IX, Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi, NSW

2015


The Folly, Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi, NSW

2014


Fallout, Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi, NSW

2013


The Folly, Defiance Sculpture Park, Wollombi, NSW

2012

Exhibitions


Kent’s, Maunsell Wickes Gallery, Paddington, Sydney, NSW

2020


Bush Fire Relief Charity Auction, China Heights Gallery, Surry Hills, Sydney, NS

2020


I Beam, Sculptures In The Garden, Mudgee, NSW

2019 


A Coupla, (Rosie Waugh, Ben Tooth), Walcha Gallery of Art, Walcha, NSW

2019 


Sculpture 2018, Maunsell Wickes, Paddington, Sydney, NSW

2018


New Works, (Caleb Reid, Gemma King, Rosie Waugh, Ben Tooth), Walcha Gallery Of Art, Walcha

2018


Neramble, New England Regional Art Museum, Armidale, NSW

2017 


Drive, Maunsell Wickes, Paddington, Sydney

2016


Graduate Exhibition, National Art School, Sydney

2015


Spank, Factory 49, Sydney

2015


Deform, National Art School

2015


Armidale Art Prize, Armidale Art Gallery, Armidale

2012