For my next post, I immediately thought of Emma Bennett, an artist from Wales, working in London that I think is sensational! The first time I saw Emma’s work was in 2005 at the Armory Show in New York where she had two paintings with Charlie Smith london Gallery. I asked her to answer a few questions about her work and following are the responses:
When did you start painting and tell me about your training? I started painting in school, the art room was always my favorite place so I applied to art college and came to London in 1992 to do my foundation work and BA degree at Central Saint Martin’s and a few years later my MA at Chelsea College of Art.
What inspires your work? I’m inspired by both contemporary and historical art along with film and literature, but also my own life experiences and the narratives of the lives of people around me. Within my work I make a direct reference to 17th and 18th century Dutch and Italian painting and 20th century abstraction. My favorite painters include Jan Weenix, Abraham Mignon, Caravaggio, Robert Ryman, Morris Louis, Sigmar Polke and Ross Bleckner.
How did you develop your technique and style of painting? My painting has developed as a result of being playful with the medium and exploring its many physical properties and the characteristics that enable it to produce illusions of light and space. I don’t endeavor to employ the techniques of old masters, but I play with the substance of oil paint so as to create paintings with both the abstract and figurative qualities of images that interest me.
How would you describe your work? I’d describe my paintings as playful explorations of paint and painting; as personal investigations into the emotions associated with death and dying; and as contemplations on the value of life and living things.
What’s coming up next for you? I’m currently working on a new body of work for my upcoming solo show that opens at Charlie Smith london on the 6th of September.
Thanks so much to Zavier at Charlie Smith London for the amazing images shown here and to the incredible, amazing Emma Bennett. The Gilded Owl looks forward to your next inspiring show!
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