Artists Project: Graham Bennett

2 July – 26 August 1987

Since Graham Bennett's return to Christchurch his work, and particularly his drawings have been attracting considerable attention. Using a range of mark making techniques and materials he presents a synthesis of the time-layered scratches, smudges and marks with the mirrored reflective qualities characteristic of contemporary architecture.

Parameters, a McDougall Art Gallery Artist's Project, continues the approach and content of his earlier works. He is interested in the recessed architectural plane and the way its illusionary 3rd dimension combines with actual three-dimensionality. Thus in the three very large works of Parameters we are given a personal exploration of the vertical, the horizontal and the diagonal as expressed in compositions of folded fractured and counterposed surfaces. We are immediately confronted with boundaries and edges, with solid planes and the spaces between, with light and dark, and with networks of Miro-like squiggles or trails which tantalisingly seem to hover mid-way within the drawing space.

Graham Bennett graduated from the Ilam School of Fine Arts in 1970 and travelled extensively in Europe, working in Barcelona, Spain from 1978-79 and in Sydney in 1980. Since his return in 1980 he has lived in Christchurch and exhibited in Nelson, Dunedin, Wellington and Hamilton where his earlier works aroused considerable interest particularly for the imaginative handling of the fractured cut and folded form.

With Parameters, Graham Bennett is exploring the relationship between the solid and the light, the calculated and the spontaneous, the cone and the edge, the edge and the space. The work is read within a space before it is read within itself.

('Graham Bennett: Parameters', Bulletin, No.52, July/August 1987, pp.3-4)