Local artist Simon Benz is exhibiting a series of paintings in his first solo exhibition, ‘Out of Darkness, Into the Light’ at Geelong Gallery.
Sighting or hallucination? Dream or nightmare? Flashback or premonition? Benz’s dramatic images give a sense of an unfolding story – something has just happened or is about to happen. In a style reminiscent of film noir, he paints light, both natural and artificial, to create ambiguous scenarios and a pervading atmosphere of unease.
“My intention with this work is to capture images that present an unexpected, perhaps discomforting view of the picturesque bay side hamlets of the Bellarine Peninsula,” says Benz. “The work explores moments of ambiguous disquiet between dusk and dawn, where darkness shrouds the unseen and the unknown. Bell Ombre is French for ‘beautiful darkness/shadows’ but can also refer in a more abstract sense to ‘obscurity’.”
Benz graduated from RMIT with a distinction in the Bachelor of Fine Art (Painting). His work was shortlisted for the Archibald Prize in 2000 and he received a Highly Commended in the 2011 Small Works exhibition at Brunswick Street Gallery. He was shortlisted for the Brunswick Street Gallery Prize 2011.
Simon Benz – Out of Darkness, Into the Light runs until 16 October 2011 at Geelong Gallery, 53 Little Malop St, Geelong. Ph: (03) 5229 3645 www.geelonggallery.org.au