Ben McDonnell’s work combines photography, installation and sound. He is determined as much by his abilities as a musician and composer, as he is of his appreciation of the still image. Intuitively moving between the audio and the visual, McDonnell is drawn to the significance of silence and its impact upon pictorial space. His work invites the viewer to engage with the image as a physical experience. McDonnell is influenced by artists, musicians, and writers alike, including Anthony McCall, Uta Barth, Rinko Kauwuchi, Naomi Goudall, Navid Nuur, Ornette Coleman, Bill Evans, John Cage, Gaston Bachelard and Jorge Luis Borges.
Graduating from Leeds College of Music in 2004 with a degree in performance and composition, whilst taking up photography, McDonnell has since become a professional musician. He performs and teaches internationally whilst pursuing his interest in the relationship between still image and sound at the Royal College of Art. He has developed his practice alongside other artists, including through a collaboration with artist Natasha Caruana in which the artists created a sound piece based on the theme of love at first sight; the work was exhibited at Paris Photo, 2015. McDonnell was further commissioned in 2014 by Floating Cinema (UP Projects) and the Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art to create a composition to accompany the film Haze & Fog, 2013 by acclaimed artist Cao Fei. His photographic works have been exhibited in the Work in Progress exhibition at the Royal College of Art in 2016, and in Salon/15 at Photo-fusion in Brixton in 2015, as well as being shortlisted for the European Photography Prize. Upcoming projects include a publication release in Offprint, Tate Modern, 2016 and a collaborative exhibition at Liverpool Biennial Fringe, 2016.