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Wednesday 11 March 2015

An unconventional route to a career in fine art - prize winning painter Benjamin Hope prepares for his debut solo exhibition in London: Nov- Dec 2015

  • A Cambridge Graduate's successful City strategy has enabled him to follow his dream to paint full - time
  • His still life, plein air impressionism and portrait paintings have gained Benjamin Hope prestigious recognition in the Art World
  • Capitalizing on the Pop Up trend: JP Art Gallery is nomadic by design and launches Pop Up Galleries and exhibitions across London offering a platform to some of the UK's most talented, emerging Artists

Flour and Eggs: Oil on canvas: 50 x 39 cm

Autumn 2014 was when we first met Benjamin Hope, a chance recommendation during our Pop Up Gallery in Blackheath Village, London. We only had a couple of weeks left, but local to the area - often spotted on the Heath nearby with his easel, rucksack and paint box - Benjamin agreed to join our exhibition. He soon sold his first painting with us, Chucking it Down on Easter Day in Blackheath, which was painted earlier in the year literally outside what was destined to become our latest Gallery. 

Our next stop was Belgravia for a couple of months, and in this short period, Benjamin became one of our top selling Artists. We are now working together to prepare for his debut solo which will be held towards the end of this year in central London. Benjamin has also just been selected to exhibit in the Royal Society of Portrait Painters' Annual Exhibition at The Mall Galleries, London (16 April to 1st May 2015), so an exciting year lies ahead. 

   Greenwich at Lunchtime: Oil on board: 38 x 25 cm

Benjamin is 38 years old, he decided against Art School and instead pursued Mathematics and Physics, culminating in a PhD from Cambridge University. During the years in academia, painting was largely confined to summer breaks, but his work still gained recognition: he received the Oxford Times Critics' Choice in the 2001 Oxford Art Society Members' Exhibition for his Old Violin, and was commissioned by Oxford University's Bodleian Library to paint a still-life commemorating their 400th anniversary.

After graduating from Cambridge, Benjamin had a spell as a ‘quant’ in the City in order to set up a studio close to Greenwich Park in South East London. Then in 2011 he voluntarily took a 100% pay cut to begin focusing on his art full-time. In 2013, at his first attempt, he was selected for the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition with his painting Teacups in the Financial Times, and has since had work selected for the annual open shows of the Royal Institute of Oil Painters, the Pastel Society, the Royal Society of British Artists, the Royal Society of Portrait Painters, and the New English Art Club. In 2014, he was awarded a Runner Up prize at the Lynn Painter Stainers Exhibition, and First Prize at the Pintar Rapido plein air painting festival. 

Self Portrait with Palette: Oil on canvas: 73 x 92 cm
'' I draw and paint directly from life, both in the studio and outside. I work mainly in oil but also charcoal, pastel and pencil. My techniques depend strongly on genre. Outside, I work quickly to capture light before it has changed altogether, whereas in the studio I can spend hundreds of hours studying fine details on the surface of an object.

Portraiture has an extra level of significance for me owing to a long - held interest in the Philosophy of Mind. I am only happy with a portrait if I can really sense there is human agency on the canvas - and not just any: a specific person. At present I am developing a technique in which I apply paint exclusively with a palette knife, making some areas highly impasto whilst leaving others thin enough to scratch through to the canvas. I find this allows me quickly to vary the focus and degree of realism to suit the subject''

Listing details:

Contact:        Joanne Parker




  • Benjamin Hope is a prize winning UK Artist. He works mainly in oil but also charcoal, pastel and pencil and divides his time between still life, plein air impressionism. portraits and figure studies. He is currently preparing for his debut solo exhibition and the places he intends to paint in the coming months include Canary Wharf, the City, Trafalger Square, Exhibition Road, Kings Cross, Temple, Westminster, St James's Park and various London bridges
  • He cites influences ranging from contemporary UK Artists, Peter Brown, Ken Howard and Tom Coates for his plein air, Caravaggio for his still lifes and his portraits are inspired by the works of David Leffel, Rembrandt and Kyffin Williams
Benjamin Hope
  • JP Art Gallery is nomadic by design: facilitates Pop Up Galleries in exclusive and interesting locations across London. Our aim is to create an accessible space to view and buy fine art from a carefully selected collection of Artists who we believe are 'The Ones To Watch'. Capitalizing on the Pop Up trend open for 2 - 6 months in new locations, pro-actively source new Artists locally and look to form working Partnerships with Social Enterprises who promote social inclusion through the Arts.
  • The business was established in 1996 in South Africa by Joanne Parker who has a background in designing and manufacturing custom made, contemporary timber furniture. In 2001, Joanne moved back to the UK and opened her first Gallery in London's art hub, Hoxton, Shoreditch which specialised in Contemporary South African Fine Art and Design. 
  • Joanne is also the Director at JP Art Consultancy which sources artwork to suit specific projects, this includes for London's most prestigious property developers, high - end residential, restaurant and hotel groups, corporate collections, private members clubs and art for public spaces
  • Solo exhibition: in central London Nov - Dec 2015 (exact dates and location will be confirmed soon)


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