In the Still Life series, Bentham creates assemblages in an intimate scale from utilitarian and ornamental brass and bronze. Decorative figures and vessels are eloquently combined with planes and rods, transcending the materials’ original purposes and inspiring new meaning. Just as a traditional still life subject has a front and a back, Bentham’s sculptures are defined in this way and each side is equally compelling. While remaining largely abstract, the sculptures contain certain shapes or rhythms that are reminiscent of a particular historical artist’s work, as referenced in his titles.
Each composition is unique and occupies its own space – similar to how a still life becomes its own microcosm, established within a specific time and place. I often reference a historic artist’s work by emphasizing a certain motif that feels familiar. It is a way of expressing my gratitude for their influence on my work, and for their contribution to the ‘onward’ of art, in which I remain immersed.Douglas Bentham