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LUCIE BENNETT | LIMITED EDITION SCREENPRINTS

December 9th 2016
Lucie Bennett is best known for using single minimal lines - whether painted, screenprinted or produced in neon - to create distinctive works based around the image of the female body. The series of screenprints presented here was released by Bennett in 2011 and see her move away from this style as she takes her work in a new direction, introducing solid shapes and alternative forms.

Bennett was first inspired for this series during a visit to some botanical gardens where she had visited to make study drawings. While examining the plants at close proximity, she began to draw similarities between the natural lines of the stems, leaves and flowers in front of her, and her own observations of the human body. After more thought and consideration, Bennett began to move away from concentrating on the external lines of the body, which she had been doing for some time in her work, and decided to focus on the unseen territories that exist beneath our skin. The result is a strong body of work that sees Bennett’s imagination and initiative take fresh ideas to an exciting new way of working.

Screenprint editions Silver Jungle and Blue Jungle mirror similar compositions, depicting the upper torso of a woman with one arm raised. In both prints, block forms reminiscent of plants and more abstract shapes inspired by our internal structure appear to be consuming her body from all angles. Each hand-screenprinted by the Coriander Studio in editions of 75, Silver Jungle sees Bennett incorporate an element of collage by using aluminium card instead of ink in the large silver area, creating texture. Working in this way led the way for future collage works such as the small-scale pieces released in early 2016. In Blue Jungle, hues of baby pink and baby blue contrast against a jet black backdrop to create an aesthetically pleasing palette. Still very much recognisable as Bennett’s work, Silver Jungle and Blue Jungle are a perfect example of this series, and work well as individual pieces or as a pair.

The larger in scale Orange Blossom has a retro feel to it; the flat vibrant orange, deep teal and bright turquoise paired with lemon yellow and splash of burgundy giving a nostalgic 1970’s feel. Here the line work has been chosen carefully, this time not only acting as an outline to the female form but also used in the more abstract areas to encourage an extra connection between the elements. A woman appears to be leaning forwards, the orange shape in front of her slightly ambiguous - is it a second leg or part of something else? The circular shapes above it representative of human cells; the yellow area behind her is most likely interpreted as a plant, but similarities can also be drawn with a pair of lungs perhaps.

It’s Bennett’s enigmatic approach to this series of work that makes it so captivating and significantly different to her simple line drawings which provide a much more direct message. When writing about the series at the time of its launch, art writer Tom Flynn stated: “That dream-like visual interchange is one of the most rewarding aspects of this new series. The eye begins to trace the outline of a petal that abruptly morphs into a female breast”; “a frond of something akin to seaweed takes on the meandering undulations of an intestine-like tube alongside shapes reminiscent of blood cells.”

See Silver Jungle and Blue Jungle and Orange Blossom in more detail, along with other available work by Lucie Bennett here.
ANGIE DAVEY
Creative Director
 
LUCIE BENNETT LUCIE BENNETT
Silver Jungle Blue Jungle
 
LUCIE BENNETT
Orange Blossom
 
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