Ben Watkins, "Pangeas" At BankRI Galleries

Ben Watkins, "PANGEAS", May 6 - July 6, 2024

 BankRI Galleries One Turks Head Place, Providence, RI 02903



Small Pile, 2022, Painted acrylic on plexiglass 20”x”24


Pangea III, 2020, Painted acrylic on plexiglass 50”x61”


Patchwork (spring), 2023, Painted on plexiglass 17.5” x 17.5”


Patchwork (autumn), 2023, Painted on plexiglass 17.5” x 17.5”


Orville, 2023, Painted acrylic on plexiglass 74”X31”


Born in Kentucky, Ben Watkins earned his BA from Murray University, and his MFA from RISD. Ben works as a furniture designer and sculptor out of his studio in Lincoln, RI employing materials such as wood, plaster, gold leaf, and glass. Ben’s newest body of work, “Pangeas” references a concept geologists hypothesized of a continent that existed 200 million years ago when the world’s land masses were joined. 

Built from a continuous line in reds, blues, purples, and yellows, Ben’s carved reliefs speak to this idea of our interdependence with elliptical markings and color blocks nestled against one, a supercontinent etched in glass. These works evoke both a wide view of the earth as a motley communal throng; and too, a micro one, recalling our biological protoplasm, the corporeal foundation of the breath and life we all share. 

A quote from Virginia Woolf’s “Moments of Being” that inspired Ben in conceiving this series further elucidates this idea of our kinship with one another and our embodiment of it; the world, (and it’s creativity) itself.

“Behind the cotton wool is hidden a pattern; that we—I mean all human beings—are connected with this; that the whole world is a work of art; that we are parts of the work of art. Hamlet or a Beethoven quartet is the truth about this vast mass that we call the world. But there is no Shakespeare, there is no Beethoven; certainly and emphatically there is no God; we are the words; we are the music; we are the thing itself.” 

With his multi-colored assemblages, in Ben’s “Pangea” series we see ourselves as part of a whole; humanity as a fluid, ever-changing, but essentially perfect universal design. 


Ben is also exhibiting additional works at BankRI’s North Kingstown branch, located at 1140 Ten Rod Road, North Kingstown, RI 02852. 



 Gossamer, 2023, Acrylic on black plexiglass 46”x78”



Axis Mundi, 2020, Ash Veneer 96”x48”