After graduating from City & Guilds of London Art School in 2018, Polly Bennett was awarded The Worshipful Painter-Stainers Decorative Surfaces Fellowship, which she has since been introducing into her practice with techniques like gilding, japanning and woodcuts. Incorporating the decorative surfaces skills, Bennett's current body of work is in response to a week she spent in Slovakia trekking brown bears. She explores the fairytale-esque environment Bennett encountered while walking through the woodlands below the High Tatras, in Slovakia; a mixture of dense forest, mossy carpets, colourful red-banded bracket fungi, and sap seeping brown bear scratching posts.


The installation ‘Below The Tatras’ consists of decorated dried and wooden fungi superimposed on wallpaper created from a single tessellating woodblock.


“Amateur scientific enquiry, craft, collecting, and a child-like fascination with the natural world drive my creativity, and rely on the tiny moments retained from broader remembered experiences, that once combined, create a completely new world.”