Ben Fennessy was born in Melbourne and at age thirteen began taking painting and drawing lessons from Bill Coleman (painter and printmaker from the George Bell School). At sixteen, Ben won a scholarship to attend the National Gallery Art School, where he studied painting and drawing in the 1960s and he did further studies at the Victorian College of the Arts in the 1980s. Ben has been a practising artist for over half a century and has been exhibiting since 1972. Solo and group exhibitions have been held in Melbourne, Geelong, Ballarat, Lorne, Queenscliff, Warrnambool, Swan Hill, Mildura, Gold Coast and Torino & Genoa, Italy. For many years, Ben was a secondary and tertiary arts educator in Geelong, Melbourne and Colac.
Landscape is the primary inspiration for Ben's artwork, in particular the environment of the wild Victorian South West Coast on Gunditjmara land, and the volcanic plains from Budj Bim to Deen Maar, Mt Elephant to Tower Hill.