Richard Benbow Lancashire, United Kingdom
I am a visual artist based in the north west of England. I studied BA Hons Fine Art at the University of Salford 2017 – 2020. In 2018 I won the Howarth Life Drawing Prize and traveled to Berlin with the bursary award. My current practice focuses predominantly on painting. I explore the local landscape and react to my environs; researching through photography, video, note taking, and poetry.
My practice begins by the simple act of walking. I stake out my territory. A lyrical loiterer I am. Inspiration springs from the absorption of the landscape through the senses- touch, seeing, hearing, and feeling in a spiritual sense: for our connection to the land is deeper than purely physical, the memories we gather vibrate and reverberate within our hearts and minds. The tool of abstraction enables me to configure my message. I am interested in psychogeography and the world around me which I interpret through thought, philosophy and ideas. Paradoxically, the world subsists in a ‘concrete’ existence; however, I don’t attempt to represent external reality but seek to portray the world through shapes, colours, and textures. Rural/ suburban/urban districts, the edgelands, where the city meets the countryside are my subjects. My work is inspired by artists including Victor Pasmore, Ivon Hitchen, Albert Irvin, Peter Lanyon, and Adrian Berg. By studying these artists techniques and methods of observing and painting the landscape, I contextualise my work through the observation of their composition, colour use, and brush mark. Aboriginal art also inspires me, not just the visual impact but also the spiritual connection of the people to the land and aspects of their culture such as the ‘walkabout’ and ‘Dreamtime’. Recently, I have been referring to online satellite maps; and using this resource material as a framework to create a composition. I always use places where I have recently walked, in which my memories and experiences are fresh. I will often revisit these sites repeatedly. I paint out the structure of the composition and then work into it over several sessions. Depending on the size of the surface, the paintings can be rendered relatively quickly, or take many hours or days to reach completion