© Polly Bennett, All Rights Reserved 2019

'Preservation'

A group show at Take Courage, Amersham Arms, New Cross, London

 

‘Preservation: to keep something as it is, especially in order to prevent it from decaying or being damaged or destroyed.’ 

Four recent fine art graduates, Polly Bennett, Lucy Bradley, Kimberley Cookey-Gam and Cora Cuthbert, from the University of Brighton and City & Guilds of London Art School, use their pre-existing practices to explore the theme of preservation. All being given just this one word, their individual viewpoints are unique and are influenced by both their own experiences, and the universal. 

When speaking of the theme of this group show, Polly Bennett states:

“First of all, as an artist, creation is my way of preserving and caring for myself. I make not just because I love to, but because of a strong need to.

Within my artistic experiences, the term 'Preservation', for me, conjures up images of taxidermy, flower-pressing, pigment extraction, and collecting; all of which prolong a sense of life, or give life back. Which is why when deciding how I wanted to respond to our theme I knew I wanted to incorporate my existing landscape-based practice, but that I wanted to explore how I give life back to myself, not just the materials within my practice.” 

My Walk;

  1.  Honesty: 51.09422, 0.5426697

  2. Dandelions: 51.09412, 0.5438346

  3. Moss: 51.09426, 0.5446340

  4. Rusty metal: 51.09465, 0.5450490

  5. Clay: 51.09461, 0.5451285

  6. Nettles: 51.09497, 0.5453842

  7. Blackberries: 51.09617, 0.5465406

  8. Alder Catkins: 51.096709, 0.546986

  9. White Chalk: 51.09685, 0.5471401

  10. Common Orange Lichen / Yellow Scale: 51.09756, 0.5481907

  11. Long Red Pine Cones: 51.097937, 0.550180

  12. Bluebells: 51.098775, 0.551598

  13. Grass: 51.09849, 0.5460669

  14. Hooded Tube Lichen and Farinose Cartilage Lichen: 51.098412, 0.544766

  15. Red Brick: 51.09951, 0.5437041

  16. Acorns with Iron: 51.09973, 0.5431762

  17. Oak Galls: 51.09973, 0.5431762

  18. Bone: 51.09973, 0.5431762

  19. Red & Green Bramble Leaves: 51.099228, 0.540823

  20. Darwin’s Barberry: 51.09951, 0.5408116

  21. Copper: 51.099389, 0.540346

2019

Naturally made inks, and extracted pigments on watercolour paper

 

Polly has taken the same walk in her hometown since the age of 15 and throughout the year the landscape and its foliage changes, just as she has, now a lot older. She sees the walk, and the field in which her journey takes her to, as a safe-space, and a metaphor for time to think, reflect, and reach a conclusion. 

 

Intuitively collecting found organic matter, she has extracted and ground the colours of flowers, leaves, earth, bone, etc. to create a visual map of her journey through the colours she encounters while on this walk. Giving an alternative second life to the chosen found-objects, and one which is everlasting yet tangible, just like her memories of, and associations with, the walk.

The colour swatches are shown in the order in which their relative object was found on the walk, and the coordinates tell the viewer that exact spot. The smaller coloured squares on each piece of paper is a mini version of all the pieces of paper, and shows what has been added, or not added, to each object to create the varying colours. The work is completed with a photo album of photographs Polly has taken of the walk, since she started taking the walk.

Long Red Pine Cones