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LUCIE BENNETT | STUDIO VISIT
February 2nd 2018
British artist Lucie Bennett is recognized for her simple, elegant and sensual line-drawings of female silhouettes. From her early work in 2005, collectors have been seduced by her sirens and alluring pin-ups and Bennett is one of Eyestorm’s most successful artists in the past 10 years. We met up in Bennett’s studio in London to have a talk about her new botanical work and a look into 2018.
by Henrik Riis
STUDIO VISIT
Henrik Riis [HR]: Congratulations on your three new screen prints Tigerlily, Honeysuckle and Dandelion. Can you tell us more about what made you turn your focus to the natural world. I know that Kew Gardens in London is a place of great inspiration for you, has it always been?

Lucie Bennett [LB]: Kew Gardens is such an oasis in the city, and so vast. I’ve always loved the Palm House with its specially created humid climate, where there are so many different species of tropical plant, and some really interesting shapes and colours. Being in the Palm House reminds me of when I was a child growing up in the Far East, it was here that my senses were really awakened to the exotic smells, sights and sounds all around me. Our garden was filled with tropical plants with vibrant colours and beautiful shapes which I had never seen before. This experience really imprinted itself on my mind and instilled a real love of nature in me, and piqued my artistic sensibility for sure.
Lucie Bennett

Dandelion , 2017

55(w) x 74(h) cm
21.65(w) x 29.13(h) inches
4 colour screenprint on Somerset Satin 410 gsm paper.

Image size: 60 x 43cm
Edition of 45
PRICE
$ 695.00
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HR: When I first saw your draft ideas for the stem plant drawings, initially what I saw were botanical drawings in your elegant line-drawing style which I felt were instantly recognisable as “Lucie Bennetts”. With your female silhouette works, you use the body pose to tell us more about the person and the state of mind. Looking at the stem flowers they seem to have human poses. This creates a strong connection between the two styles of work. Did this come as a natural progression when you started sketching?

LB: Yes the sketches came very naturally and I also wanted to do a series of three. I realised after making the sketches and seeing the format of them, how similar they seemed to the format of the women I do; standing centre stage, simple and linear, holding a certain dynamic pose: they instantly made me think of characters. I think anyone who likes to have plants in their home, or enjoys a garden can appreciate our affinity and attachment to plants as living things that grow and blossom and need nurturing, so not altogether different from the human in many ways!

HR: After the release of the three prints and as they were hanging framed on the wall in the office, each plant slowly started to develop a personality, with the three of them engaging in some sort of conversation. I know you wanted to give each plant a personality - and watching them together they almost seem like people at a reunion. Tell us more about Tigerlily, Honeysuckle and Dandelion and do you get inspiration from people around you?

LB: I saw Dandelion, Honeysuckle and Tigerlily more as dancers in the way they appear to interlink with each other when viewed hanging on the wall together side by side. I think they have a rhythm together and I wanted them to appear to be interacting with each other. Often separate pieces I make that also go together in pairs or trios I intend to have a rhythm when put together in this way, like with the Buttercup Wink pieces, the Jungle pieces, the Burgundy nudes. In this case, I spent quite some time choosing the right sketches that would work together as a trio. My inspiration comes from constantly taking in the shapes of everything around me, whether it be the shape of the body stretching in a certain way, the arc of a tree, or curves in architecture; all of this visual stimuli informs my practice.
Lucie Bennett

Olive and Aluminium , 2016

32(w) x 21(h) cm
12.60(w) x 8.27(h) inches
Hand-cut card collage
PRICE
$ 995.00
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HR: Inspiration from the natural world is not new to you and botanical elements are found in your earliest work - yet from 2005 it almost disappeared and then re-emerged in the body of work for your solo show in 2011. During those 5-6 years you truly developed and perfected the female silhouettes which you are now recognised for. Was there a reason for the absence of flowers and plants, or was it simply coincidence?

LB: You’re right I’ve always been interested in the shapes that are formed in nature and the blossom paintings were some of the first works I ever did with Eyestorm which didn’t feature the figure at all. They were very popular. I think I wanted to concentrate on the simplicity of the figure for a while, and as I have always been interested in the female form and female identity, I focused my attention here.
Lucie Bennett

Blue Jungle , 2011

66(w) x 67(h) cm
25.98(w) x 26.38(h) inches
Screenprint on Somerset Satin paper
Edition of 75
PRICE
$ 725.00
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HR: I am a big fan of the series of work from 2011 and I sometimes feel that collectors overlook that brief moment in your career where you suddenly made a significant move into bold colours, combining elements from both the female form and the natural world. Except for Wonderland from 2005 which has some similarities, this body of work from 2011 stands out from your silhouette drawings. Was there a source of inspiration that suddenly revealed itself?

LB: Aesthetically I felt there were aspects of the female body that lent themselves well to a composition which included plant forms. Historically in art, the female body is often depicted as being close to nature, the ability to create life, and the female as a representation of Mother Nature is not lost with these works from 2011, as women become symbols of sex, pollination and reproduction, as seen in Orange Blossom, Kuniyoshi and the Jungles. This body of work was part of my practice of taking different avenues of exploration, always important for an artist. Matisse is a huge inspiration and I’ve always admired the simplicity of his cut out shapes of plants and his wonderful palette.

HR: Will we see any similar work from you in the future? Or was that a moment in time where certain inspiration sources just created a harmonic symphony?

LB: Yes, I think you will definitely see more work of this kind from me in the future. I tend to have several projects on the go, and some come to fruition before others. I often feel seduced by the sensuality of creating the simple line forms, yet there is a different, perhaps deeper kind of sensuality in the works that incorporate plant forms, and I really enjoy putting the shapes of these together, working a more complicated palette into a successful composition. On the silhouette works, I think I will always make these as I feel they are classics and there are always new ways of exploring the format - from gloss paint, to coloured acrylic plastics, to neon tubes, to the more classic ink on paper!
Lucie Bennett

Duck Feather Blue , 2015

78(w) x 106(h) cm
30.91(w) x 41.93(h) inches
Screenprint on Somerset Satin 410 gsm paper
Edition of 75
PRICE
$ 870.00
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HR: What are you working on now in your studio and can you give us a glimpse into what 2018 might bring? I know that you were awarded a prize recently for your work in ink and pastel by arts writer and curator Paul Carey-Kent.

LB: Yes, I’ve recently been making a lot of ink and pastel drawings of plant forms, and exploring more abstract shapes. Some of them are quite cartoony and humorous. I’m interested in exploring these materials and making looser works, and more figurative works too with inks and pastels on paper, so lots of new work in the pipeline!

You can read more about Lucie Bennett and find her artwork on the artist page here.
 
RECENT NEWS ARTICLES
March 31st 2017
Featuring a single tree with butterflies for leaves, Danish artist Henrik Simonsen’s new print edition ‘Blue Butterflies’ displays a rich colour palette of silvery gold tones with a range of crisp blues.
March 18th 2017
Bennett first came into the limelight in 2004 when her work featured in the first British series of the TV show, The Apprentice, where the contestants hosted a solo exhibition of her paintings in London’s most established gallery row, Cork Street.
PRINT EDITION RELEASE
by Angie Davey
INVESTING IN ART
by Carys Lake-edwards
August 18th 2017
Lucie Bennett’s new screenprint editions see the artist continue with her most recent body of work, which uses imagery from the natural world to execute her ideas.
$ 695.00
$ 695.00
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DO YOU HAVE A DAMIEN HIRST TO SELL?
Valium
With two major exhibitions during the Venice Biennale, 2017 has been a year which has increased the awareness of Damien Hirst. With Hirst still actively releasing new print editions, many collectors focus on his earlier work from 2000 and before, such as Valium, Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD), Opium, Beautiful, Galactic, Exploding Screenprint (Spin) and Painting-by-Numbers.

If you have one of the above prints that you are potentially interested in selling, please do get in touch with us via the Contact page, which you can find here.
 
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