Andrew Bennett, Sydney Member Since December 2014 Artist Statement When I first took up a brush I had some early influences - artists such as Edward Hopper, Andrew Wyeth, and Wayne Thiebaud. Their sense of space, light and composition appealed to me. There was also a sense of capturing their environments what caught my eye.
In the early years, I developed an interest in still life painting, which was a way for me to come to terms with the medium of paint. Over time, I progressively expanded the close, intimate space of still life to incorporate the concept of landscape in a single work. The process enabled me to create layers, a sense of immediate and distant perspective.
Using this perspective I created a stream of work, combining close up observation of still life with the grander sweeping issues involved in representing landscape. This allowed me to explore the possible thematic and aesthetic relationships between the viewer's immediate space, occupied by still life, and the more atmospheric and distant space that landscape encompass.
However after some time I came to realise that the possibilities for using this format to explore other conceptual ideas had great appeal for me.
What appeared to be a surrealist bent seemed to develop. Even though there often is some unconscious reference in some of my work, as surrealists such as Rene Magrite and Salvadore Dali explored, it is the conscious arrangement between all the elements that continue to fascinate me.
Each painting presents a slew of possible interactions to explore as I work the process from the initial inception, to the final rendition.
Throughout the application I strive to keep a sense of life in the work, that very hard to categorise element that one has to feel, perhaps even intuit rather than simply reason. It can be as simple as an unexpected placement in the composition or an addition or subtraction of another element that can bring a work to life.
All works are acrylic on canvas after an extensive preparation of 6 to 8 sanded undercoats.