Over more than five decades, this internationally-recognised, Christchurch-based artist has become known for finely-worked investigations of form, pattern and structure across a variety of scales and materials. His works consider ideas of orientation and identity, often framed through the imagery of mapping, measurement and navigation. Presenting highlights from a career shaped by curiosity and connection, this selection of sculptures and drawings also provides a context for Bennett’s most memorable outdoor commissions, including the monumental Reasons for Voyaging, created for Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū’s forecourt in 2003. This exhibition coincides with the publication of a major book on Bennett’s practice.
Graham Bennett is a Christchurch-based artist and educator. Born in Nelson in 1947, he trained at the University of Canterbury’s School of Fine Arts, studying photography, but his interest in how objects and figures operate within three-dimensional space soon led him towards sculpture. Since 1979, he has participated in more than 100 solo and numerous group exhibitions across Aotearoa New Zealand and in Australia, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Spain and the United States of America. His works often combine natural materials like wood and stone with stainless steel and bronze. They range widely in scale, from delicate table-top pieces to site-specific public commissions, including Reasons for Voyaging (2003), the gateway sculpture he was commissioned to create for Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū’s forecourt.