About Claire Benn

Claire Benn is one of the UK's leading mixed media and textile artists. Her starting point is always a piece of cloth. She works with heavy cotton, linen or antique hemp, old grain sacks, raw earth pigments, natural dyes, acrylic paint and thread.  Her processes include mono printing, painting, scraping, mark-making, screen printing and the use of text.  Hand stitch almost always plays a part, and some pieces are made entirely with 'slow' hand stitch; exploiting the rhythmic, repetitive mark and creating a very tactile surface. 

The work can be described as contemporary, quiet, reductive, abstract, elegant and meditative.

“My inspirations are simple: empty and desolate landscapes, sitting and absorbing.  A limited palette, line, texture, the small details.  I want the viewer to have a deep, contemplative experience and feel the stillness and calmness that can come with that.” 

Claire lives and works in a converted barn in Surrey, UK. She is also an author, curator and educator in art textiles.

Artist's Bio

Exhibitions

Claire Benn’s work has been exhibited in  galleries on an international scale, including:

USA 'Material Pulses; Eight Viewpoints' Ohio (2016), ‘Unfurled' Nebraska (2007), ‘Never Static’ Minneapolis (2006). 

Europe The Florence Biennale (2007) ‘European Art Quilt’ touring Europe and the USA (2004, 2006, 2010, 2012, 2014,2017), 'Of Place & Time' in Germany (2015). 

UK ‘Creative Link’ Grace Barrand Design Centre (2005), 'Committed to Cloth' London & Harrogate (2004), 'Complex Cloth' (London & Harrogate (2004), 'Lines, Rows, Rhythm & Repetition' Birmingham (2016) and with ViewSeven at the Menier Gallery, London (2013, 2015, 2017).

In addition to the public exhibition programme, her works feature in both commercial and private collections.

Publications

Claire’s book publishing includes publications via the teaching studio of Committed to Cloth, which she co-founded and partnered until 2015.  There are six publications, including ‘Making Your Mark’ and ‘Finding Your Own Visual Language’.  In addition to teaching at the Committed to Cloth studios, her teaching work has brought her to the Crow Timber-Framed Barn in Ohio, USA, the Masseria della Zingara in Puglia, Italy, The Textile Centre in Minneapolis USA, The Surface Design Association Conference, Kansas City, USA and Textile Studio in Speyer, Germany.

For information about Claire's teaching schedule, visit the 'Teaching' section at the bottom of the page.

Curating

Claire has also curated exhibitions and served as a juror for European Art Quilt 2010, 2012 and 2014, and Fine Art Quilt Masters in 2013.