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Benton Fran Canadian
photography (discipline); photocopies; collages (visual works); drawing (image-making)
Fran Benton is a graduate of the Visual Arts Program at Camosun College. She earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Emily Carr College of Art and Design (now Emily Carr University), and a Master of Fine Arts at the University of Victoria (UVic). Benton also holds a degree in biology and geography from UVic, and was originally inspired to undertake art courses to improve her ability to accurately render botanical samples during fieldwork. This background in natural science influenced Benton’s artistic practice including the creation of activist art interventions such as her piece “Roving Meadows” which saw her transplanting a portion of a Gary Oak meadow that was set to be destroyed through a big-box store development project in Langford, BC (details about “Roving Meadows” can be found at http://focusonline.ca/?q=node/46). Throughout her artistic career, Benton has been explored themes related to science, technology, the body, and transport. Benton worked as an instructor of ceramics and sculpture in the Department of Art and Design at Vancouver Island University (formerly Malaspina College) until her retirement in 2012.
ARTIST STATEMENT [Artist Fran Benton describing a series of collages that “Jet Crash” is part of]: “These works are built up from small images. Each is enlarged, drawn into, and distorted. The final collages are between six and eight feet wide and long. They are composed of about 100 photocopies and are heavily drawn into with charcoal, conte, and graphite. Each work has a source which is important to the work. For example [the work] ‘Cuban Embassy’ is taken from a newspaper clipping of the Cuban Embassy in Ottawa burning down. Although distortion in the photocopying and drawing removes some easily recognizable imagery, the sense of catastrophe and disruption comes through the process.” “Jet Crash” was derived from an image of a crash of a United Airlines jet in New York.
Art, Canadian--20th centuryArt, Modern--20th centuryWomen artistsWomen artists--CanadaCollage, CanadianCollageDocumentary photographyDrawingphotocopiesUnited AirlinesEmbassy buildingsAircraft accidentsCurrent eventsNews media coverage ofPressPress coverage
New York (State)