About Claire Benn - TEXTILE ARTIST
Solitude. Stillness. Silence. Experienced in wilderness landscapes and made visual through cloth, thread and pigments. Experienced in the meditation of hand stitching and made visual through cloth, thread and sometimes, natural dyes’
Cloth, “the pliable plane”, so says Anni Albers. Uncomplaining of a sharp needle and welcoming lines of thread. Porous enough to absorb pigments, strong enough to support them and tough enough to withstand an electric sander.
Using earth pigment connects me back to the land. Binding it in acrylic medium allows me to make washes that soak through the cloth or build up crusty layers to communicate the texture of earth, rock and snow. Rows, lines or scatterings of stitched thread offer a visual trace of time and a literal surface that fingertips can feel. These are my quiet materials, used to make art for experiencing solitude, stillness and silence.
Claire lives and works in a converted barn in Surrey, UK. She is also an author, curator and educator in art textiles.
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 & TEACHING
‘Her Quiet Materials: Solitude, Stillness & Silence’; a printed portfolio cataloguing four different bodies of work. 67 pages including essays, descriptive text and images. Available to buy via the Home page at £27.50 + postage.
Other publications came through the teaching studio ‘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, Claire teaches internationally at various studio venues.
For information about Claire's teaching schedule, visit the 'Teaching' section at the bottom of the page.
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.