Ben Ploughman showcasing more work from collection of folk art

Cory Hurley cory.hurley@tc.tc
Published on March 6, 2014
Three-dimensional wooden folk artist Ben Ploughman has an exhibit at the Corner Brook Arts and Culture Centre this month.
Star photo by Cory Hurley

So much inspiration has come to folk artist Ben Ploughman over 20 years of looking out the door of his Port au Choix studio.
It is the day-to-day life of a Newfoundlander that Ploughman loves to portray in his artwork. The struggles and misfortunes of the fishery and resettled communities are two of his popular themes.

"I like to call it news from around the bay," Ploughman said.

However, the driftwood and lathe that he carves and creates into three-dimensional folk art have also told many stories beyond the traditional lifestyle of his home province and fellow people.

The likes of the epic failure of the Toronto Maple Leafs in last year's Stanley Cup playoffs can be seen depicted at the exhibit displayed this month at the Corner Brook Arts and Culture Centre.

Ploughman's latest inspiration came from the 2014 Winter Olympics. He is planning some pieces revolving around some of his favourite moments - like the puck hitting the post of the empty net, which set up the Canadian women's come-from-behind gold-medal victory in hockey.

While the wooden characters he creates continue to tell stories he hopes have meaning and interest to people, the artist is exploring a new abstract method too. The paintings he refers to as gravity art are created by allowing paint to slide along the surfaces by tilting the artwork. When he finds a desirable result, he lets it dry.

Ploughman's pieces will be showcased at the Arts and Culture Centre throughout March.

He is having "meet the artist" events Friday and Saturday evenings in conjunction with the theatrical performances at the Arts and Culture Centre.