In her wonderfully eloquent artist's statement, Bennett says she hopes "the collective images suggest a known past that is just beyond reach." Well, the lakefront paintings certainly do just that, hinting at narratives that stretch far beyond the canvas yet also seem somehow familiar, like the stuff of memory itself.
Part of what's so fascinating about Bennett's work is that it invites you to interact, to weave your own stories to explain the intricate scenes. In the unsettling "Search Party," a group of tiny nervous figures gathers on a lakefront beach, one woman wading to her ankles, her arms on the verge of outstretched, as if she might jump in the lake in her dress in order to find what's lost. "On Dry Land" shows a couple of campers laying out a billowing tarp, one of them in a stark white dress and another shrouded in a yellow raincoat, trudging along the beach with mysterious intent.
Here's a key to the paintings shown above:
• 1 - Search Party
• 2 - On Dry Land
• 3 - Trespassers
• 4 - Shoreline
• 5 - Stillwater
Amy Bennett's next show, a new lakefront series, will be at the Tomio Koyama Gallery in Tokyo in November of this year, but in the meantime you can view her work, including the full lakefront series, online. For those of you interested in domestic themes, a visit to her portfolio is a must; especially as we head into summer, the lakefront paintings seem all the more relevant.
(Images: Amy Bennett)