Ben Bindon

Salvaged River Red Gum (Toucan). Huon Pine (Plinth) / 70 x 44 cm

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Ben Bindon

Simplified Bio:

Ben Bindon studied a Bachelor of Fine Arts followed by a Bachelor of Environmental Design at the University of Tasmania. Ben then completed a Master of Architecture through the University of Melbourne and has practiced as a registered architect with Jackson Clements Burrows Architects for 10 years. Ben now runs his own architecture practice and tinkers with timber and stone sculptures in his spare time.


Inspired by Constantin Brancusi, I am interested in the purity of form and to see how simplified a form can be made while retaining the identity of the original subject. From this, I see meaning can be strengthened. In exploring the idea of refinement of form, I am in search of beauty and capturing the essence of the subject the form if based upon. In architectural processes, this is called a Parti which is the central idea or concept of a building. In my sculpture, I consider the Parti as the purity of form. I see the success of a sculpture is in how the object creates and answers its own problems. A successful sculpture simply makes sense whether the observer understands this or not. For the Toucan sculpture, I explored the proportions within the proportions of the Golden Mean. Applying the Golden Mean ratio to the Toucan form was the second thought process I considered when sketching the initial form. I examined how the idea of contrast would be a means of creating and answering problems. The Toucan uses multiple types of contrast. Both in the literal sense and perceived. Degraded old reclaimed Red Gum contrasts the purity of the neatly sawn Huon Pine both in colour and material. The curved geometry contrasts the strong geometric lines. The negative space between the toucan and plinth generates an implied tension. The physical weight of the bird is precariously balanced at the edge of the plinth. The smooth surfaces contrast roughness, likewise, the roughly worked shapes contrast the refined shapes.

Like most of my creative ideas, I visualised the Toucan during the brief period when drifting off to sleep and my mind was somewhere between creative thinking and problem solving. The idea of the Toucan sculpture did not enter my mind so much as a form, yet more of a process of subtracting geometric shapes from an oval form. I am curious of the negative space left over from the positive space and see the ‘left over space’ is as important as the object itself. My architectural training informs my sculptural approach and process. When I was studying fine arts in the late 1990’s at the University of Tasmania, I struggled with the lack of structure when perceiving and making art. So, I left arts and found the structure of process I was looking for in architecture. The architectural process concerns a rational approach in a very creative space in the pursuit of answering

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