Helen Benigson’s multi-faceted practice consists of text, rap and script, as well as live performance, interventions into existing spaces, videos, audio and installation, print making and sculpture. Her work is concerned with the presentation and construction of the body within online and libidinal, maternal space, and the metaphorics of space and place associated with the Internet’s interface hardware and software.
Often collaborating with an all-female cast of volunteers and participants – amateur and professional weightlifters, spray tan beauticians, dancers, ‘tequila-girls’, strippers, midwives, sound engineers and translators – Benigson’s work produces carnivalesque, pulsating spaces, referencing contemporary game playing, performance and what it means to “share”.
“I am interested in fattening spaces so that they become full and chaotic, while at the same time flattening, compressing and reducing, so that the spaces themselves are nothing but screens or skins.”
Cashino Desert, 2015
HD Video stills (1, 2)
Always On, 2013
HD video still
Digital print, dimensions variable
Paradoxes and oppositions run throughout Lydia Brockless’ work.
Employing everyday, traditionally ‘feminine’ household materials and crafts in unconventional ways, her practice may be described as “Not Using Things For Their Intended Purpose”: soap bars are shredded on a cheese grater, mixed with dyes and remoulded into abstract, organic shapes; crocheted, soft textile is hardened into a cage-like structure by melting its fibres; and liquid detergent forms colourful pools inside handmade vessels, permeating the room with its heady scent.
The soft, comfortable femininity of Brockless’ materials is subjected to destructive processes like cutting, melting and bleaching which in turn negate their original properties as household products, and allow them to become something other.
Faint Esters, 2017
Glazed white stoneware, shower gel, hand soap, bath soak
Crystal Mud, 2018