CHARLIE SMITH LONDON, London
Emma Bennett / Haunts
Emma Bennett’s paintings at once recall Dutch and Flemish still-life painting, 20th century Modernism, film and photography. Exquisitely composed, Bennett’s recurring motifs of fruit, flowers, drapery, fire, dead game and interior objects set against black monochromatic grounds operate on multiple levels as memento mori. Exploring the fleeting nature of existence, experience and encounters, Bennett’s work refers to the incomplete, fragmented nature of memory and thought:
‘My paintings, like memories, contain small fragments of imagery — these are focused details surrounded by darkness and ambiguity. The imagery of the paintings locates memories in specific places and, as with memories, there are sharply focused details as well as inaccuracies and things that one can't quite recall.’Bennett continues to subtly introduce new imagery into her work. Most recently, interior details including stairs, mirrors, lamps and personal artefacts reference regularly frequented places that were once intimate or familiar, but now resonate only in memory. Lamps illuminate areas partially, reflections in the mirror are abstracted, and curtains or drapery conceal the unknown. Unanchored objects are employed in combination with the voidal to suggest absence, longing and uncertainty.
Emma Bennett was born in Wales in 1974. She graduated with a Masters in Fine Art from Chelsea College of Art and Design, London in 1998. Bennett was recently included in ‘100 Painters of Tomorrow’and ‘Nature Morte’, both published by Thames & Hudson, and the iArtBook ‘100 London Artists’. She has exhibited globally in galleries and museums including Aberystwyth, Amsterdam, Berlin, Bremen, Cardiff, Frankfurt, Helsinki, Klaipėda, London and Los Angeles. Bennett’s work is also represented in prominent private collections in Australia, Germany, Italy, Monaco, Switzerland, United Kingdom & United States