Claire Benn

Warp weft stitch thread 2021

Solitude.  Stillness. Silence.

Experienced in wilderness landscapes and made visual through cloth, thread and pigments.

 

A piece of cloth is always my starting point, which Anni Albers describes as “the pliable plane”. Uncomplaining of a sharp needle and welcoming lines of thread. Porous enough to absorb pigments, strong enough to support them and tough enough to withstand an electric sander.  Using earth pigments connects me back to the wilderness.  Binding it in acrylic medium or soya milk allows me to make washes that soak through the cloth - cotton canvas, linen or hemp are strong enough to take the weight of the pigment and build up layers to communicate the texture of soil, sand, grit and rock.  But the cloth is also open enough to yield to stitch; rows, lines or scatterings of thread offer a visual trace of time and a literal surface texture that fingertips can feel.

 

These are my quiet materials, used to make art that evokes solitude, stillness and silence.

Earlier in the year Claire had a successful solo exhibition here showing work that evolved from her experience of the Atacama Desert, visited in 2017.

"It is a varied, multi-layered and primal environment: aggressive, jagged, crumbling, serrated, smooth, undulating, slithery, yielding.  The colour palette is extraordinary: burnt umber, rust orange, yellow ochre, sand, buff, pale mauve, brown and due to the high salt content of the earth, white.  The place has an ancient feel, a sense of the ground being somehow sacred".

 

Claire Benn
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Claire Benn
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Claire Benn
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Claire Benn
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Claire Benn
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Claire Benn
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Claire Benn
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Claire Benn
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Claire Benn
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