By Rachel Woodward, July 21 2016 —
Janine Bennett is a Calgarian artist with a passion for flowers. After living in the United Kingdom for two years exploring countrysides, Bennett brings her artistic findings to Arts Commons until August 29.
The exhibition, The Graces of Wilderness, aims to highlight and demonstrate the femininity of nature and gardens.
“Growing up in my mother and grandmother’s gardens, I’ve always maintained this close connection with plants and their contrived spaces, Bennett says. “Recently, I spent a couple years living in the U.K., where this love for gardens and romantic landscapes flourished.”
Using graphite pencil and cut paper silhouettes, Bennett says she incorporates photographs and other findings from her travels in the exhibition.
“I was really interested in exploring the ways in which the feminine manifests in nature,” she says. “Flowers have always been associated with youth and beauty and femininity. I’ve been really drawn to that.”
Bennett’s work is showcased in the Lightbox Studio at Arts Commons. The experimental space where her work is displayed will evolve throughout its showing, which began on June 6.
“I’ve continuously worked on new pieces and the exhibition is going to be changing throughout the three months that I’ll be in the space, so I’ve got drawings up now and I’m working on more,” she says.
Bennett graduated from the Alberta College of Art + Design in 2013 and has since done some work in smaller exhibitions. This is the first large-scale display of work since her graduation.
Since its opening, Bennett says the gallery has received positive feedback from local botanists and plant enthusiasts. She hopes her art will create more interest in community gardens.
“I hope it fosters an interest in finding magical gardens around our city,” Bennett says.
The Graces of Wilderness will show at the Lightbox Studio at Arts Commons until August 29.
For more information, visit artscommons.ca