Ben Fourie

Ben Fourie was born in Pretoria, South Africa on 5 April 1953. During his childhood, his family moved numerous times and he lived in, among others, Bancroft in Zambia and Oukiep and Springbok in Namaqualand where his love for and fascination with the natural world, in particular flowers, developed. His mother, Berna, was a keen florist and gardener and Ben drew significant inspiration from her and her craft as well as from French contemporary impressionist painter, Max Agostini. Ben married Janet in 1977 and they spent 24 years running her family business, a men’s outfitters, in Polokwane in Limpopo. During this time, Ben continued to paint, with his initial medium of choice being watercolour and subsequently acrylic on canvas. In 2001, Ben and Janet moved to Cape Town where Ben was inspired by the exquisite beauty of the region and he expanded his repertoire to include landscapes, including of the Cape winelands. An avid reader and deeply spiritual, Ben’s later work became quite conceptual in nature, inspired by his good friend and fellow artist, Emma Willemse, and focused on the effects of industrialisation and modernisation on the natural world and also referenced his thoughts on and feelings towards modern religion. Ben exhibited works with art dealer, Rose Korber, in Cape Town and at The Cape Gallery. He was also part of an exhibition of almost 30 artists focusing on fracking in the Karoo at the 2012 KKNK festival. Sadly, Ben passed away in October 2017.