12.10.2023 - 12.11.2023
The Woods Echo Out To Us - a new exhibition by artists and friends Elaoise Benson and Annie Watkins - opens in Studio 10 on 12.10.2023 - 12.11.2023, daily from 10am-5pm.
The woodland is a hive of connection, of ever-changing growth and life. It holds its own history and traditions; it can bring us peace, joy, identity, and belonging. In this exhibition, Benson and Watkins ask whether empathy and spiritual reconnection can be a new form of protest. They believe art is not just a reflection of our present experience but sits in the gap between our imagination and reality. It may be an echo of our past mistakes, but can also suggest a potential future hope.
Elaoise Benson works across painting, poetry, and performance. Currently living and working in Watchet, her work explores the intersections of feminism, grief, and environmentalism. Drawing inspiration from the Somerset landscape, Benson paints the landscape in liminal moments. Whether the gap between branches or a pigsty nestled amongst the trees; these spaces become portals to infinite possibilities. The landscape and her experience of it continue to change in the process of her making, so Benson focuses on how to make this transitory experience of nature tangible. By soaking her canvas in soil, she physically and spiritually ties the work to the place in which it was first conceived. And through the ambiguity of abstraction, Benson leaves her works open to the viewer’s own interpretation. What new world do these portals take you to? Can that world echo back into our reality here?
Annie Watkins works across sculpture, photography, and performance. She lives and works in London. Having grown up in a religious home in a coastal town in East Sussex, she draws from her bodily and spiritual experiences. These experiences form a guiding force in her life and work. The principles of connection and respect for nature learned from childhood have been formative in how she views and experiences the world. As a result, her work is contemplative and experiential, centering around environmental concerns and spirituality. Being an artist and yoga instructor, Watkins seeks to encourage audience interaction and participation. It feels intuitive to her to experience and learn through engaging the body, mind and spirit.
Elaoise Benson and Annie Watkins met during their BA in Fine Art at Central Saint Martins and have previously exhibited together in London. They have also shown individually across the country in Bristol, Exeter, Sheffield, Hastings and further afield.