Ben Timmins was born in Dannevirke and raised on a farm nestledin the foot hills of the Ruahine Ranges. Influences from hisformative rural years are strongly present in his work and have been broadened by cultural experiences gained from overseas traveland education.
In an early series of work, 'Memory Pulsation', Timmins explored the link between the subconscious mind (in particular, the functionof memory) and the visual image through the abstraction of recognisable elements of landscape and figure in a post-surrealist fashion. Timmins' choice of found, aged and weathered surfaces as basis for his painting added a sense of endurance, and reinforced the idea of the nostalgic image projected directly onto the appropriate working base and subtly enhanced with found objects and photographs. As Timmins explains, “this series of paintings is an exploration of what predominantly surfaces as memory. Past is past; memory, however, operates subtly within the present and seems to have apulse or rhythm of it own.“
More recently, Timmins' work has evolved to include the substrate even more predominantly as a feature in the work, thereby engaging a conversation between the painting's support and the represented image. Elements of the raw and textured surfaces suchas nail holes in recycled panels and the grain of sheets of marineply play a specific role in the works, adding to the illusory senseof a mental image projected onto a surface whose contours are unworked and uncontrolled by the artist, like a film projected onto the wall of a corrugated iron farm shed.