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Dail Behennah


Dail is an artist with an interest in basketry and textile structures. Throughout her career she has been concerned with light and shadows and the kinetic effect of light flickering through an openwork structure. Her degree in Geography has also led to an abiding interest in the structures beneath the surface of landscape.

For over 25 years she worked with willow grids, layering them and constructing bowls and other sculptural forms. 'Nebulous' is one of these and is the only one in which the layered grids are broken and joined at only a few points. The cloudy effect of grids and spaces on several levels is enhanced by the flow of shadows throughout the day.

Her most recent work in paper uses a complex three directional plaiting technique. A detailed plan is drawn to determine how the paper will be cut into strips and then pleated before it is woven into the structure. The resulting highly textured surface reflects light and casts shadows, so that each piece looks different from every angle and changes with the movement of light. It is easy to become lost in the landscapes of mountains, ice floes and sand dunes that can be found within them.

Dail finds the structure endlessly fascinating and, as she works, she sketches ideas for variations in the plaiting and changes of scale so that each piece becomes the foundation for the next one.
In the exhibition 'Flow' she shows one complex plaited paper form, the drawing from which she worked, and a new drawing, based on the same plan, comprising three layers of cut film, one each for the weavers going in the three directions. By tracing a line through the centre of each element and placing the three layers on top of each other, the zig zag lines and star shapes of the
underlying weaving become apparent in a way that is not visible in the finished work. The 'Flow' in this case is the flow of ideas from drawing, to constructed work, and back to drawing in a different form.

Dail is happy to take commissions.

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