Visitors flock to see Suffolk's latest attraction
The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Saturday, July 20, 2024

Visitors flock to see Suffolk's latest attraction
The show is the first of a three-year creative collaboration between Britten Pears Arts and Messums Wiltshire for 2022, 2024 and 2025.

SNAPE.- The Jubilee Bank Holiday weekend saw the start of the first Aldeburgh Festival since 2019, with the launch of Remains To Be Seen, featuring recent and historical works by Paul Benney, Laurence Edwards and Kiki Smith.

The show takes the stunning and archaeologically rich heritage of Suffolk – globally famous for the finds at Sutton Hoo and beyond – as the ground from which to explore the artists’ common interests in the body as narrative and site. Working in a variety of media and disciplines, from oil painting and sculpture, to film, printmaking and textiles, Benney, Edwards and Smith share a reverence for the natural world and the human form as symbol and vestige, exploring connections between myth, religious iconography and ritual.

The exhibition marks the beginning of a long journey for Laurence Edwards’ Tribe of walking men, three of which are starting off from the Reed Lawn at Snape, being joined by two more on their way to his solo exhibition at Messums Wiltshire in August, and ultimately to the Orange Regional Museum in New South Wales, Australia next year.

It features Smith’s stunning tapestries and eerily oversized sculpture of Lewis Carroll’s Alice, and Benney’s hybrid digital/painting installation, Reliquary and Hazard Signal Paintings, in an exhibition spanning familiar and unconventional spaces across Snape Maltings.

The show is the first of a three-year creative collaboration between Britten Pears Arts and Messums Wiltshire for 2022, 2024 and 2025.

Paul Benney (b. 1959) has exhibited extensively in the US and Europe and is represented in public and private collections worldwide including the Metropolitan Museum of Art (USA), The Brooklyn Museum (USA), The National Gallery (Australia), The National Portrait Gallery (UK) as well as prominent corporate collections including the Eli Broad Foundation, AIG and Standard Life. Benney has twice won The Visitor’s Choice Award in the BP Portrait Award and was short-listed on two other occasions. He has been a judge for numerous art competitions including the Threadneedle prize in 2013 and the Koestler Trust in 2015. A member of the Neo-Expressionist group of the early 80’s in New York’s Lower East Side, Benney became known for his depictions of stygian themes reflected in the devastation of some parts of Manhattan at the time. Today Benney continues to explore themes of religion, mysticism and the symbolism embedded in the natural world that have occupied him throughout his career, engaging with a wide range of media including painting, digital projections and music. Paul Benney lives and works in Suffolk. UK.

Laurence Edwards (b. 1967) studied sculpture at Canterbury College of Art and bronze casting at the Royal College of Art. After winning a Henry Moore Bursary, the Angeloni Prize for Bronze Casting and an Intach Travelling Scholarship, he studied traditional casting techniques in India and Nepal, an experience that not only influenced his treatment of form and technique, but also gave him the necessary tools to establish his own atelier and foundry. In 2006, he won the Royal Society of Portrait Sculpture Award, and became an Elected Fellow of the Royal Society of British Sculptors in 2012. In November 2019, Man of Stones was unveiled at the Sainsbury Centre in Norfolk. For the Aldeburgh Festival in 2008, Edwards created three 8ft bronze figures inspired by the marshes. On first meeting them, writer Robert Macfarlane commented, "I came over time to see the Creek Men not as eldritch paramilitaries set on vengeance, but as more ethically neutral emanations of the Suffolk terrain itself.” In 2018, Edwards was commissioned by Doncaster Council to create a sculpture that celebrates the lives of those who worked in the collieries around Doncaster. 'A Rich Seam' was unveiled in Print Office Street in 2021. In November 2021, he completed and installed a 26ft bronze landmark sculpture named Yoxman, which stands next to the A12 in Suffolk. Tribe and Thresholds, his largest exhibition of sculpture to date, is on at Messums Wiltshire from 6 August – 16 October 2022.

Kiki Smith was born in 1954 in Nuremberg, Germany. She has been known since the 1980s for her multidisciplinary work that explores embodiment and the natural world. She uses a broad variety of materials to continuously expand and evolve a body of work that includes sculpture, printmaking, photography, drawing, and textiles. Smith has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions worldwide including over 25 museum exhibitions. Her work has been featured at five Venice Biennales, including the 2017 edition. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and in 2017 was awarded the title of Honorary Royal Academician by the Royal Academy of Arts, London. Previously, Smith was recognized in 2006 by TIME Magazine as one of the “TIME 100: The People Who Shape Our World.” Other awards include the Skowhegan Medal for Sculpture in 2000; the 2009 Edward MacDowell Medal; the 2010 Nelson A. Rockefeller Award, Purchase College School of the Arts; the 2013 U.S. Department of State Medal of Arts, conferred by Hillary Clinton; and the 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Sculpture Center, among others. She is an adjunct professor at NYU and Columbia University. Her work is on show in Feminine power: the divine to the demonic at the British Museum, 19 May 2022 - 25 Sep 2022.

Britten Pears Arts is a pioneering cultural charity based on the Suffolk coast at two popular, historic visitor destinations: Snape Maltings and The Red House, Aldeburgh. It emerged from the determination of composer Benjamin Britten and his partner, singer Peter Pears, to ensure that everyone could enjoy and experience music. Britten Pears Arts aims to continue their legacy to develop talent, celebrate their heritage and engage with communities. The organisation has a national leadership role in the areas of talent development and music, health and wellbeing. We use music to transform people’s lives, to bring communities together and enhance daily life. We want the arts to effect powerful positive change in, and for, society. Or, as Britten himself would have put it, we make the arts “useful.”

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