|Heather Bentz||Home|| |
Since early childhood, I was given the freedom to explore the natural and agricultural landscape of rural Pennsylvania. Order and effort were evident in the acres of orchards, tree farms and rows of planted corn, whereas chaos abounded in the tangled brush at the edges of carefully planted fields. Both spaces were favorite places to explore and play. My parents, both art teachers, scavanged thrift stores, flea markets, auction houses or buildings destined to be torn down for items that could be reclaimed, revamped and restored. This not only fueled creativity in our household but taught me important economic lessons for a lifetime. I learned how to sew at an early age and garnered an appreciation for process and construction and the reward that comes from working with my hands. Colors and patterns, sources of light and shadows were always fascinations. These influences are rooted in my core and I refer to them still when I work.
The imagery in my work is discovered through exploration and process. While I find inspiration from many sources, it comes most from observing both the subtle and the obvious. I am aware of the visual, emotional and audible layering of what is around me. I am interested in making marks and constructing abstracted shapes which are both gestural and geometric. The result evokes associations of laundry, sewing patterns, and architectural forms. The inner energy that emerges during my work gives me the same sense of adventure I felt a long time ago when running through open fields, constructing forts, or exploring tangled branches of brush.
My method of working allows me to explore my content and resolve it formally. I work without a plan or destination making intuitive and informed decisions, first creating chaos then responding with structure and order. I mark time and track effort in rows of ticks and slashes, a comforting recording of serene disengagement. I sand, paint over and make marks to add to the history of the surface. Color references what I feel, see and recall. Raw, exposed edges express my informal and unrefined aesthetic.
Process is how I discover my content. It allows me to express a balance of frenetic activity and structural order.