About Ben Tarento & Caitlin Mansfield
In 2013, Ben Taranto and Caitlin Mansfield met at Burning Man Festival in Nevada, USA, building camps and artworks. Ben is a sculptor who began his career in Melbourne, and Caitlin is a painter and art educator from Los Angeles, California. A decade later, they reunite on the Coffs Coast, Gumbaynggirr Country, to bring their passions and talents together for SWELL 2023.
Ben and Caitlin would like to thank artist John Van Der Kolk for his support with an essential element for the installation of their work.
Ben Taranto is a settler ally and artist living and making work in Gumbaynggirr Country. He was born in Darug Country and forged an art practice on Wurundjeri Woiwurrung land. For over a decade, Ben has exhibited in galleries and urban spaces across Naarm/Melbourne and internationally in Spain, Austria, Finland, China, and Indonesia. His conceptual sculpture and installation practice adopts methods and processes that mimic human activity, such as removal, replacement, and alteration, creating surreal monuments to human impact and memorials to lost living systems.
“I acknowledge the land, waterways, and ancestors of the Gumbaynggirr people. I acknowledge that the land we live, work and love and the animals and waterways that keep us healthy were forcibly taken and never ceded. Today, First Nations people resist on Country across so-called Australia. Together we can protect and better care for people, Country, and culture for the benefit of future generations.”
Caitlin’s artwork is inspired by light, inter-dimensional space and our place in the universe. Working with UV lights, bright fluorescent colours and 3D glasses, she creates paintings in three dimensions. Caitlin has exhibited in solo and collaborative shows across LA and Sydney and has installed interactive art spaces at festivals such as Burning Man in Nevada, USA.
Caitlin Mansfield graduated from California State University in 2013 with a Bachelor’s in Art Education. She is the Founder of Messy Arts – a process-based art program for young children, and runs blacklight painting workshops for all ages on the Coffs Coast.
2023 SWELL ARTWORK – UP-RISE
An organic/industrial hybrid creature positions itself above the water line evoking mystery and vulnerability. Poised like the mythical serpent-headed Hydra of Lerna, its branching claws rise toward the sky. Is it a harbinger or a remnant of a speculative future? Like a shapeshifter, it has merged with formwork props – tools of High Capitalism and the Anthropocene era – used to construct our habitats and metropolises.
Has the creature under duress slithered out of the sea, or is a new reef under construction, relocated high above the current water line?
Come and see for yourself at SWELL Sculpture Festival, Pacific Parade, Currumbin 8th – 17th September