Web 1970, stereo painting,
24ft (7.3m), polyvinyl-acetate on canvas.
On view in the exhibition from
13th November until 6th December only.
50 x 60cm loose film reflection hologram.
50 x 60cm loose film reflection hologram
50 x 60cm reflection hologram in blue and red.
Cornucopia CauliFlowers 1993
Open-aperture film transmission hologram, 50 x 60cm
Cornucopia Shells 1993
Open-aperture film transmission hologram 50 x 60cm and collage
Holographic stereogram, 8" x 10"
Pushing up the Daisies 1996
60 x 80cm reflection film collage with text.
Rock Garden 1996
Small limestone rocks ground to a flat surface on one side with loose film holograms of flowers resting on the flat surface, arranged with a spiral of blue mussel shells.
The desire to mount this exhibition was kindled when I attended the opening of Margarets Cornucopia show at the Russell-Cotes Art Gallery & Museum in Bournemouth in July 1996. It was a couple of years before I was to open Gallery 286, but I was determined that the work should be seen by a London audience at some time in the not too distant future.
I first met Margaret in 1980, two years after I first became involved with holography. She had been living in Australia and had just moved back to the UK. Everyone working with holography knew her by reputation as she had pioneered the use of the medium for fine art but she had not showed in London since 1970 and in the end I had to visit the Museum of Holography in New York (now at MIT) to see any of her work.
Astonishingly, although she has taken part in over one hundred shows around the world, and been awarded the MBE for her services to art, this is still her first solo exhibition in London since 1970 and I am very proud to be holding it at 286.
Over the years I have come to know Margaret as a friend and have managed to acquire a sizeable holding of her work for my private collection. I admire her enormously for her dedication, her perfectionism and for the seriousness and beauty of her work. Collecting holograms is not a mainstream activity and the medium has not yet been tested by time and the auction houses, but when the history of artists working with holography in the late 20th and early 21st century is written, you can be sure that Margaret Benyons name will feature prominently.
British hologram collector Jonathan Ross presents selections from Margaret Benyon's holographic series Cornucopia for its first London showing, along with Web, a very large stereo painting made in the late 1960's.
Margaret Benyon is a British artist who was a painter for some years after leaving the Slade, before pioneering holography as an art medium in the late '60's. She is now a well-known leading light in the field, with a doctorate from the RCA, state recognition in the form of an MBE, and a current entry in Who's Who International. She has shown in over a hundred exhibitions world-wide, and her work is in public collections. She works internationally, exhibiting, lecturing, and making holograms mainly in her studio on the Dorset coast - one of very few non-commercial holographic studios in existence.
Web is a large stereo painting installed on all three walls of the upstairs gallery, part of which was first shown at the Lisson Gallery London in 1970. This work overlaps with Benyon's early transition into holography as a medium. Echoes of early preoccupations survive in current work.
Cornucopia is an ongoing holographic project which explores the proposition that everything in the world around us can be defined as 'natural', but that we see some things as more 'natural' than others. Images of trees and mountains are seemingly less 'made' by people than concrete or machines. The images in the Cornucopia holograms are chosen for their hologenic and sensuous appeal. Combined together they are intended to re-contextualise the hologram as organic and easy to live with, rather than the product of an alien technology. As Cornucopia suggests natural abundance, another theme in the series is to explore how some aspects of 'abundance' - fertility, decoration, chaos or lack of rationality - have been seen negatively and used to define female roles and characteristics. In un-picking such biases, many contemporary women artists have emphasized the importance of links between personal and political experience, so that women's experiences can be understood and asserted. The series explores bringing together what may be seen as feminine and masculine characteristics. Technology, which is often stereotyped as hard and masculine, is used to create images that relate to female concerns and perceptions of the world.
For more information on this exhibition please contact:
286 EARL'S COURT ROAD
LONDON SW5 9AS
Local 020 7370 2239
International + 44 20 7370 2239
Details about Margaret Benyon's work can also be found at the Benyon Archive
Please visit some of the other exhibitions
which have included work from the
Jonathan Ross Collection at Gallery 286.