In Our Gallery with Debbie Bennett

Using a range of mixed textiles, Debbie Bennett said she was inspired by her travels throughout Australia when creating her artwork titled Hidden Within the Land.

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How long have you been an artist and how did you get started?

I have loved making as a way of life, growing up in a busy family and being able to play creatively.

I have mostly thought that I was able to create craft but now I'm happy to realise that I am an artist.

Tell us about your artwork displayed by Bundaberg Regional Galleries as part of the Here + Now exhibition?

My artwork “Hidden Within the Land” is a three-dimensional fabric and found object wall hung

My work on display is the ongoing result of an online workshop inspired by Clarissa Callesen, here I explored the idea of turning ugly fabric into something of beauty with eco printing.

What was the inspiration behind this piece?

The inspiration from this piece evolved while travelling throughout Queensland and Northern Territory.

The difference in the landscapes where very diverse, from rain forests to deserts.

By observation I found lots of hidden beauty within.

What medium was used and how does this reflect your usual practice?

I have used eco dyed textiles, natural dyes, wire, driftwood, found objects paint thread and plant materials.

Textiles and mixed media is one loved part of my practice, but I also now create in ceramics also.

How long did it take you to complete this artwork?

This work took one month of planing and preparation, then another month to physically make.

What are some of your artistic highlights?

My major highlight was winning the easel section of the Bundaberg Art prize a few years ago.

I was so excited that I could now call myself an artist. Since then I have been able to be part of five exhibitions at regional and city art galleries.

What do you love most about what you do?

I love the process of creating something from nothing.

Textiles fascinate and excite me.

When opening my steamed bundles of fabrics,it is like opening a surprise gift, you never really know how the fabric will be transformed, and that is part of the appeal, as the marks created change the character of the fabric.

What advice would you give to others who are just beginning to explore art?

Just do it, by finding little pockets of time to physically do something creative, makes you feel like your learning.

Workshops are a great way to learn new skills.

Previous In Our Gallery: Robert Andrews