2018 - From Portland to Australia! by Holly Benham

I've been pretty terrible at keeping this blog up to date as this year has been so BUSY! Massively exciting projects including plein air painting festivals with Sculpture By The Lakes at Pallington Lakes, and a month long residency in Australia for Stephen and I. It has been a year full of opportunities taken and projects planned for the coming year. 

We now have a studio pottery for Stephen to create his beautiful ceramic pieces, and I have been able to experiment with incorporating my textiles with ceramics, both before and after firing with interesting results. We hope to extend this further next year and develop slipware bowls with textile surface detail. 

Plein air painting days in Dorset and Australia have given me chance to branch out and develop my painting techniques. Having come back to the UK fired up to concentrate on this, I have done little but printmaking! Having collected sand and stone samples of the wonderful Australian natural colours, I have been moved to experiment with painting and printing with home-ground pigments. These will form part of our upcoming exhibition at Upton Country Park in the new year.

Meanwhile, you can still purchase work from both of us at White Stones Cafe Gallery on Portland, and Edie Mae Cafe Gallery in Stourpaine (Grand Reopening 2nd December). Now to fly to Canada!!

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Unknown Island by Holly Benham

 Me, Angela de Groot, and Stephen Yates 

Me, Angela de Groot, and Stephen Yates 

It turns out that a lot can be achieved in 3 months! An unexpected gap in a gallery schedule and a well timed browse on Facebook were all the encouragement we needed to step up to the challenge of filling this impressive space at The Gallery Upstairs, Upton Country Park. 

Our opening event was met with an enthusiastic flow of visitors, many commenting on our curatorial decision to mix our work throughout the exhibition without name tags. The overall feeling is one of collaboration, and a dialogue forming between works from each of us. 

I was particularly pleased with the impact of my prints in their frames. The Fortune's Well series have been hung in a row rather like seafront cottages with their different colour front doors. Stephen's painting of the Bill set the scene immediately at the entrance to the show, and Angela's bold and colourful images by the window invite you to explore further. 

See more at www.thegalleryupstairs.org.uk

Seashells by the Seashore by Holly Benham

Currently on holiday from the day job, I am enjoying the restful environs of the beautiful Peak District. Me being me, virtually the first things packed were drawing and textiles to be getting on with, and last night I completed this piece in cotton scrim and silk. Printing with rusty pieces from my hut, weathered by Portland storms, I have used stitch to bring out the rocky textures and rolling water with undertow. 

The drawing beneath is actually an illustration made for a set of prints I have planned, and like the idea of using the same piece across my textiles and printmaking practice. 

Dorset Art Weeks 2016 by Holly Benham

 The hut transformed for 16 days into an exhibiting space. 

The hut transformed for 16 days into an exhibiting space. 

What a couple of weeks! This, my first Open Studios and first exhibition was a huge success! With  around 300 visitors and many works sold, my expectations were exceeded in every way. A huge thank you to everyone who visited and supported me, and apologies to the many fabulous artists around Dorset who I didn't get time to visit. 

With opportunities taken and lessons learned I am feeling hugely inspired moving forward. My remaining prints are catalogued on this site together with prices, so contact me at hollymbenham@gmail.com if you are interested in any purchase. Due to the nature of printmaking, there will be slight variations in any edition prints. Again, contact me for more information. Soundscapes are also available for sale,  and will be on show at L'Artishe gallery in Swanage for all of September. 

In the nearer future, you can see my next exhibition at Upton Country Park 6-11th July "Unknown Island" with painter Stephen Yates and photographer Angela De Groot.