Review of Liverpool and Cologne by Natalie Bennett

bennett_loftspace_230.jpgReview of Liverpool and Cologne by Natalie Bennett at Loft Space Programme (25 March 2007 – 31 March 2007), Curated by Jo Derbyshire.
Written by Gaynor Evelyn Sweeney.
Photographs © Tony Knox 2007.
30 March 2007.

The ‘Liverpool and Cologne’ Exhibition by Natalie Bennett, is part of the series of on-going projects at the Loft Space Programme, curated by Derbyshire.

Bennett presented a collection of her former and more recent art developed from the previous platform with Eight Days a Week, a Liverpool and Cologne Exchange Programme.

The art was shown in different locations throughout the house from the main entrance area and leading up to the first floor towards the Loft Space. As art and exhibitions have evolved from the January 2007 with the onset of the Loft Space Programme, Derbyshire has adapted the concepts of art in the urban space and art from previous exhibitions has migrated through the residential space. A critique of how urban space is itself transforms by daily living comparable to how art transcends by experience, intervention and history.

Bennett’s art is in a naïve abstract style and references the awkward relationship to the formal qualities of painting. For example, the academic precepts of perspective are removed to a reductive and simplified approach, resulting in a persuasive and appealing, but awkward and refreshing vision. Her work has strong use of unrefined colours, layers of paint often scratched to allay the palette underneath. The simplicity, rather than the subtlety, are the strength in her work. Some of her work is combination of found objects introduced to the two dimensional surface of the canvas and modified through layers of paint. Others are actual pieces of found objects, cardboard, etc., which become the spatial surface to create on. She combines text, phrases and simplified forms, shapes and annotations through her inscribed mark making.

Abstract art, particularly that of a naïve quality, is one of those art forms that any can assume to do, but the dilemma is, it is creative approach that someone is either able to do very well or immensely badly. Those practitioners who paint in a naïve art form tend to be those who have an innate eye and ability to not only one art form, but have a broader understanding and capacity to art overall. This art form is one the artist chooses to do to imbue the intrinsic qualities abstract art conveys. Bennett does so with skill and insight. Her art is thought provoking and entices the viewer to study the forms and layers. These naïve abstractions have qualities to those of Jean-Michel Basquiat and the curiosities of Marcel Duchamp.

Bennett is a recognised young upcoming artist. She has already been awarded an accreditation through Liverpool Hope University and currently on a scholarship programme for her Masters in Creative Practice.

Further information on the upcoming projects at the Loft Space, contact Jo Derbyshire (Curator of Loft Space Project) on or 07946353251. Viewing is by appointment (