Saturday, February 1, 2014

Artist on Artist Interview with Eleanor Bennett

This month's 'Artist on Artist' interview is unique in that, UK based photographer - Eleanor Bennett, approached my blog seeking to be interviewed. I was flattered (and still am) to have been asked by an acclaimed photographer because normally it's the other way around for me; I seek out the artists and ask them to be interviewed, and to be featured on my blog.

Eleanor Bennett is a young self-taught, award-winning professional photographer, and her work has garnered respect from high profile magazines such as British Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, and Life Force Magazine. Her youthful and curious mind, and keen interest in observing her surroundings links her great spectrum of subject matters - anything and everything, colour or black and white, compare and contrast; is interesting in the eyes of Eleanor Bennett.

So, without any further adieu, here is Eleanor Bennett's interview along with selected works. 



  
Eleanor Leonne Bennett.


Polly: Hello Eleanor, and welcome to my studio blog, it’s a pleasure to have you here! Would you mind telling us where you are from and why photography is your chosen medium?

Eleanor: Thank you for having me, it's lovely to be here! I am from Cheshire in England and photography is my chosen medium as I have won the most awards in this field and it means I can readily express myself  with the click of a shutter.



Happy Hour. 12 x 8. Photograph. 2012.


Polly: Would you please describe your earliest memories when you realised you were an artist?

Eleanor: Around the age of 7. Crafting was my life when I was little. I just always had to create. I loved to watch Smart! and Art Attack on the tv. I used to have a whole palette of colors when I was tiny all the different shades I needed to construct clay models. I wanted to become an animator for Aardman at that age.



Polly: Could you tell us about your education and training?

Eleanor: I am home schooled and all my training is through being self taught.



Evil Within. 8 x 10. Photography. 2010.


Polly: In your own words please describe your style?

Eleanor: Contemporary, strange, abstract, emotive, honest and often macabre.



Polly: Tell us about your preferred choice of camera(s)?

Eleanor: Always my Panasonic Lumix models. I currently have a Panasonic FZ48 which I greatly enjoying using. I first started winning awards in droves when I photographed with my FZ38. I need a bridge camera that doesn't leave its mark and saves me from post processing I want some control of the image as I take it even if it is open to more flaws.



Mirror of the Stream. 10 x 8. Photograph. 2011 


Polly: Your work covers a great spectrum of subject matters; is there a particular subject you’re especially fond of and would like to explore a little further in depth and why?

Eleanor: I enjoy medicine, anatomy, mental illness and destruction as my main themes. I like to photograph what other people don't and the closer I can get to pinpoint a thought process or deconstruct a barrier the happier I am.



Girl Holding a Vintage. 8 x 10. Photograph. 2013.


Polly: There seems to be quite the dichotomy in your work. While in one photograph it can seem like a casual random moment, another seems to be planned/staged (and I mean that in the best sense of the term) and thought out. Am I correct in thinking this or, is there something greater at work behind the lens? 

Eleanor: Self portraits of mine are most often planned as a rule with the greater majority of my work being little random moments. Thematically a lot of these random moments add up to a portfolio of more emotional resonance. There are many images that work together well of mine that were taken years apart.



Fire from Stream. 8 x 10. Photography. 2011.


Polly: Please tell us about your influences and how you find inspiration?

Eleanor: Mainly just from the world around me and current events. I cite a lot of my creativity in what I see in the natural world. All of our finest designs and repetitive patterns we see in clothes and decor is no match to what designs are preserved in the fossil record. It is amazing the neat and organised way of beauty I see when I step outdoors. A twist in bark or the colors dispersed throughout rock sediment could be next year's season!



Fading to Sky. 10 x 12. Photography. 2013.


Polly: If, you could try your hand at another medium or genre what would it be and why?

Eleanor: Songwriting. Because I share in the anguish of a lot of entertainment consumers that I could do a better job if graced the opportunity.



Eleanor Bennett. Self-portrait in London. 


Polly: If, you could have dinner with one person, dead or alive, who would it be and why?

Eleanor: Very hard to pick just one, especially a person of note. I would probably say Damon Albarn as I can say that he was another great inspiration when I was very young to think different. And to never be ashamed of it.



The Lovely Vintage. 8 x 10. Photography. 2013.


Polly: Who has been the greatest support to you as an artist and how?

Eleanor: My strength of character. When you don't come from a family of artists (or the ones who do don't spend any time with you) you can only be supported so much. Nobody ever prepared me for all the rejections and losses I would make. One thing that is instantaneous to me upon a family or close friend dying is to take a picture either of them or something to explain what they've gone through. Because you often don't get chance for a good cry in the hustle and bustle of this hectic life. I make some type of preservation in imagery to equate the preservation of my stability.



Cotton Spools. 8 x 10. Photograph. 2013. 



Polly: What has been most challenging for you as an artist?

Eleanor: Youth, with the fact a lot more people would take me seriously if this was in twenty years time that I had achieved the same acclaim.


Polly: Tell us what your thoughts are on being an artist!?

Eleanor: That if you can't assign to yourself something entirely original then turn to biographical work. I would much rather hear about your day than a tall tale of someone else's day passed off as if your own.



Festival Reflections. 8 x 10. Photography. 2013.


Polly: If, you were conducting this interview what one question would you ask yourself and what would the answer be?

Eleanor: Do you think you can apply yourself to most creative fields, however they may be challenging? Yes, a little fresh education and a new goal never hurt anyone willing and ambitious.



Acceptance of Injury. 8 x 10. Photography. 2013.


Polly: Would you mind sharing with us something interesting about yourself most people wouldn't know?

Eleanor: I was due to be born on Valentines day but was ten days too late. If you were to know me in real life most people would find me cynical and sarcastic. I absorb information rapidly in all subjects I show interest in. I collect antiques and I know the value of a lot of precious objects. It feeds into my creativity because I have a real passion for art done well in a vaste amount of areas.



Early Morn. 8 x 10. Photography. 2014. 


Polly: And lastly, what words of wisdom would you offer to young artists?

Eleanor: Just hold out when people try to dismiss you for your age. Don't be afraid to put whatever is personal out there in regards to your experiences. It often makes people realise you are emotionally valid when you have something to declare. In the face of criticism be someone to be proud of and steer far away from logical fallacies and knee-jerk reactions.



Composed Frames. 8 x 10. Photography. 2013.



Polly: Thank you so much for your time Eleanor! Is there anything else you would like to share with us about you and or your art?

Eleanor: Thank you for the lovely interview. All I really have left to share is that people need to follow my Facebook page and official website to know what I'm really doing. I'm so busy even I don't know what is set in stone for me in the next 12 months. I also provide services as a writer, book cover designer, curator, senior editor and communications assistant.


Again ... thank you so much Eleanor for your interview and sharing your thoughts on your work with us today! Best wishes to you in your career and happy snapping!

Cheers, ~ Polly ~


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Eleanor Bennett up-coming exhibition schedule ...

Jan 25-29 2014: Glaxo Smithkline (North Site), Greenford Road, Middx, UB6 0HE
Feb 1-5 2014: Kings House & Queens House, Kymberley Road, Harrow, HA1 1YR
Feb 8-12 2014: Building B5, 4 Roundwood Avenue, Stockley Park, UB111BQ
Apr 30 - May 4 2014: Forum One, Solent Business Park,Parkway, Whiteley, PO15 7PA
May 7-11 2014: Hamlyn House & Hill House, 21 Highgate Hill, N19 5LP
May 14-18 2014: Quayside Tower, Broad Street, B12HF
May 21-25 2014: 382-386, 388-390 & 414-428 Midsummer Boulevard, MK9 2EA
May 28 - Jun 1 2014: 12-13 Bruton Street, W1J 6QA
Jun 4-8 2014: Bray House, Westcott Way, SL6 3QH

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To learn more about Eleanor Bennett and her photography please visit her official website.

Official Website: Eleanor Leonne Bennett
Official Blog: ZenFolioBlog
Official FB: Eleanor Leonne Bennett Art

Check out more interviews with Eleanor Bennett ...
Idol Magazine
Women You Should Know
Arts Awards Voice



12 comments:

Lucy Locket said...

wow, so talented!

Terrie-Ann Wright said...

Great Blog :-)

Pam Francis Gregory said...

Great read - Thanks

Kim Styles said...

Fabulous photography very moving

Jackie Chapman said...

Beautiful photographs and an interesting read.

natalie moore said...

lovely photos!

Ruth Harwood said...

I do love the photos - a visual masterpiece xxx

Sam B said...

Amazing pictures. Girl Holding a Vintage is my favourite x

LEE HARDY said...

Great pictures.

Andrea Johnson said...

Interesting read :)

alice lightning said...

such graphic detail captured

caroline tokes said...

these pictures are lovely