New work by Lucy Bentham at Chichester’s Oxmarket Gallery

Lucy Bentham
Lucy Bentham

Coralline and Other Things offers an exhibition of recent work by Lucy Bentham at Chichester’s Oxmarket Gallery running from Tuesday, February 12 to Sunday, February 24.

Lucy, who is from Somerset, but currently based in Chichester, completed the work in late 2018.

“It is a side-shoot project from a project I have been making since 2014 called Stonework. Stonework is an on-going series within a larger project exploring the female artist in the domestic space and the sublime in the natural landscape (Escape Theory). They’re like nesting dolls in project form. The stones in Stonework have been provided by my partner from business trips and are symbolic of his freedom. They are returned to me in the isolation of the domestic space where they metamorphose into signifiers of grounding myself in their places of origin. For Coralline and Other Things, I went to a beautiful place and collected my own rocks and things.

“My usual methodology involves analogue camera materials and hand-printing, making the process tactile from start to finish. However, this project has been made digitally, in-studio, and printed digitally. I wanted it to be visually reminiscent of a scientific study. I’m looking at these corallines and other things much closer than I could if they were a pile of rubble in my hand. I’m making them important, individual. To me, work doesn’t really exist until it’s on the wall and people are looking at it, and this interaction is especially important after such a digital process. The result is a display of a selection of the final 30 images: nine 10x8in digital c-type prints. I hope the audience will enjoy something from the work, although it’s not for me to dictate what!

“I work with primarily analogue photography, not limiting my work to a particular category or style. I achieved a first-class BA (Hons) in photography from the University of the West of England (2013) and an MA in photography and the book from the University of Plymouth (2016). The majority of my work is conceptually driven, revolving around personal themes, seeking a sense of belonging and reflecting on life’s transitions. Influenced by the world around me, I often comment on the personal significance of ostensibly-mundane circumstances to form a narrative as an observer and occasional participant. My key interests are the female artist, the imagination, landscape, portraiture and the juxtaposition of the written word with the photographic image.

“My artistic influences are very broad from photographer Alec Soth to artist JMW Turner, writer Sylvia Plath, photographer Masahisa Fukase, particularly Solitude of Ravens, and artists Mark Rothko and Roni Horn. But the list could go on forever. I am interested in the product, the creativity, sometimes the message and often the imagination. My real influences are my experiences, the people I have been taught by, worked with, and had conversations with and those I have yet to meet.”

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