Bill Bensley hard at work in his Bangkok studio.
Hotel designer Bill Bensley is delving into the world of fine art with the launch of a gallery that aims to support Asian wildlife conservation.
Despite admitting that painting doesn’t come naturally, the Bangkok-based hotel and resort architect renowned for his quirky property designs, has now released both original work and prints for sale online. Moneys raised will go towards two nature conservation projects, Shinta Mani Foundation and Wildlife Alliance.
And from February, the BENSLEY Outsider Gallery will open at the InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort, Danang, Vietnam, where guests and visitors will also be able to view and buy his artwork.
The project came about when three years ago, Bensley took some painting lessons from friend and Caribbean-based artist Kate Spencer.
After several painting holidays with Spencer, Bensley now draws and paints wherever he goes. Artistic endeavours regularly occur on-board aeroplanes, during site visits and on the back of menus.
Bensley has even built a chandelier-hung glasshouse painting studio in the grounds of his Bangkok home in which to hang his works.
He describes his style as ‘Fauvist’, bursting with bold colour and often a touch of humour. Having never studied fine art, he considers himself an ‘outsider’, hence the moniker for the gallery.
During the 2020 pandemic lockdowns he was able to devote yet more time to his hobby and has built up a collection of nearly 100 paintings along with countless sketches. He uses a mix of mediums, from watercolour and acrylic to oil, pastel and collage.
Visitors can also view his work by private appointment at the BENSLEY Outsider Studio in Bangkok and two further Bangkok-based exhibitions are in the process of being organised.
The BENSLEY Outsider Gallery in Danang will be open for two years. For more information, see online.