Invited International Artist

This year’s festival will not feature an Invited International Artist due to the uncertainties around the COVID-19 pandemic. Lara Sophie Benjamin will be invited to the 2021 festival and we look forward to seeing her then.   

Lara Sophie Benjamin

2020 Invited International Artist

Lara Sophie Benjamin is a Cypriot artist born in Nicosia, Cyprus in 1987, where she is currently based. Lara is a painter who works primarily in oil paints.

The artist draws subject matter from her everyday surroundings and finds significant resonance in ordinary sights and spaces. Lara is interested in their experiential nature, subjective and selective readings, and the light and the forms created within them. 

Windows and doorways are of particular interest, with their liminal associations. They are transitional places, where time and action are suspended, where both the outside and inside are present.

Lara sees the creative process as an intimate reaction to the surrounding world based on one's perceptions. For her, the outer world and the inner world come together on the canvas through my connection with my materials and the activity of painting. Familiar shapes lose their meaning and become part of a modified actuality.

Lara works intuitively and painting is an unending process of exploration and discovery based on formal and aesthetic qualities and on the versatility of paint.

Education

MA Arts Practice, certification from University of East Anglia and University of Essex, completed at University Campus Suffolk, UK, 2013 - 2015

Associate Fellowship in Fine Arts, Cyprus College of Art, Cyprus, 2009 - 2012

Foundation Diploma in Art and Design, Camberwell Colege of Arts, University of the Arts, London, UK, 2008 - 2009

Lara's work has been exhibited in Cyprus, the UK, and France, and is part of many private and public collections, including the National Collection of Cyprus and the Central Bank of Cyprus.

Painting is a constant balancing act; a continual push and pull of opposing forces taking place on the canvas: The painter is constructing an image, but deconstructing it at the same time. Ideally, an image must hold together, while at the same time fall apart. Ambiguity in what one is looking at is always engaging - revealing information versus a lack of it. And during the process of making, the act of painting, the artist exists somewhere between control and loss of control - the dichotomy between knowing and not knowing. 

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