Ben Ward was born at Lake Argyle Station near the Ord River Dam. Mr Ward has vast artistic experience, specialising in painting and passing on cultural knowledge to younger generations and is also the Chairman of the Waringarri Art Centre. His unique contemporary styles are an interpretation of more traditional works, transforming landscapes and animals into fields of colour comprised of geometric pieces.
Ben conducts ‘Back to Country’ workshops which involve taking groups of young people on painting trips to their traditional country, focus on the passing on important cultural knowledge which Ben has learnt from his elders, “You need to understand the country to know what you can paint or draw, as well as what is sacred. Once you have understanding, you have the authority to paint.”
“I am a senior cultural custodian of the Miriwoong people. Until my car accident several years ago which left me in a wheelchair I had worked for many local organisations as a health worker, a field officer, a station hand and in community education. I have also been a Director for many local community organisations and have been the Chairperson of Waringarri Aboriginal Arts between 2011- 2014.
I began painting to share my cultural knowledge with others. Art gives me an opportunity to express myself and tell the traditional Miriwoong stories. Mentoring young people is also something that I feel very strongly about and see that working in the arts will help young people maintain their cultural knowledge.”
Courtesy of Waringarri Aboriginal Arts
Ben attended the 2013 Emerging Leaders Symposium in Perth.