Gary Bennett B.A. (Hons)
Official Artist for BNTVA
Gary Bennett is a contemporary emotive artist, supported by the Isle of Man Arts Council, who takes his inspiration from his life’s journey.
The process of art for me was continuously gathering visual information based on what I was exposed to, pre digital recording media, during the time dubbed the “Troubles” which were etched on my mind it followed that I was inspired to produce this body of work. Art with a powerful narrative that runs through a scarcely travelled genre in the Fine Art world today.
Gary believes that creating images and sculptures inspired by how he feels about his experiences in the military, feelings from terrible loss to pride in a nation, produces a more powerful message and provokes the viewer into thought as opposed to painting from photos, merely creating a recording, as we are desensitised to violence by the many forms of media today, a recording although important in his mind, is overworked. Gary’s subtle but strong images have attracted the attention of military associations and charities, one such military association, namely the British Nuclear Test Veterans Association, produced a magazine article about Gary and his work. Through having dialogue with their representative it was clear that it is that very understanding of how it feels as a soldier serving in a harsh working environment and how he translates that information into images is what makes Gary a vehicle of mass communication, a window into a world of the serving soldier and one that sometimes the price of that service to all can be everything.
“My work has drawn the attention of the British Nuclear Test Veterans Association (BNTVA) and they have accepted me as their official artist and have arranged for my work to go on tour to help promote their association starting in Coventry as a preview for veterans and their supporters in May 2013 followed by the premier in Oxford Street London in June 2013 where a private viewing will take place in Parliament of some of the collection.
This is a great honour for me and privilege to support a worthy association as I feel their service was one of the harshest working environments that our soldiers have encountered on duty in the later part of the 20th century.”