Cura’s Garden and The Arcadia Center
Ben Thorp Brown’s work considers the effects of ongoing economic, environmental, and technological change.Artist Bio
Cura’s Garden is a permanent installation by Ben Thorp Brown in the courtyard of a former 13th century monastery in Ghent, Belgium now run by Kunsthal Gent. The installation opened to visitors in May 2023. Unfolding over time through choreographed and natural processes, this installation creates an idyllic and foreboding landscape that deepens links between our senses, emotions, and earth itself.
Cura’s Garden is named after the ancient Roman goddess Cura, the personification of care, and a returning figure in Ben Thorp Brown’s work about humanity’s relationship with architecture and environment. Following on Brown’s project The Arcadia Center, this work creates a new space for attention to landscape that transcends its own boundaries.
The Arcadia Center projects have unfolded over several years, and have taken the form of participatory workshops, sculptural environments, and sound and video installations. A central component of the project is a film titled Cura, which brings to life the principles developed by the Austrian-American architect Richard Neutra, who saw architecture as a therapeutic tool and designed projects in which each environmental element was carefully calculated to elicit sensory and emotional responses.
2021 Artist Retreat
Ben Thorp Brown presents his project at the 2016 Creative Capital Retreat
Ben Thorp Brown
Ben Thorp Brown’s work considers the effects of ongoing economic, environmental, and technological change. Working with video, sculpture, and installation, his projects are often developed in dialogue with specific architectural sites and landscapes, which become settings for a fictive world. He has presented recent solo museum exhibitions of his work at the Jeu de Paume, CAPC Bordeaux, Museo Amparo, and the St. Louis Art Museum. His work has been featured in significant group exhibitions including Empathy Revisited: Designs for More Than One at the Istanbul Biennial, The Supermarket of Images at the Jeu de Paume, Dreamlands: Immersive Cinema and Art, 1904-2016 at The Whitney Museum, Greater New York 2015 at MoMA PS1, Image Employment at MoMA PS1, In Practice: Chance Motives at SculptureCenter, and in film festivals such as The New York Film Festival and Rotterdam International Film Festival. His work has been reviewed in numerous media such as The New York Times, Art in America, NPR, ArtForum, Hyperallergic, Art Agenda, Mousse Magazine. He has received awards from Creative Capital, the Graham Foundation, the Shifting Foundation, and was an artist in residence at the Chinati Foundation in Marfa, Texas. He attended the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program, and is a graduate of Williams College and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
From the Journal
Ben Thorp Brown: Cura’s Garden
May 26, 2023