Interview: Lorna Bent
Luca Curci talks with Lorna Bent during THE BODY LANGUAGE 2021, at Palazzo Albrizzi-Capello.
Lorna began painting at an early age, and at the age of 17 attended a UK college and studied Art & Design; from there she grew passionate for life drawing and developed her painting skills and loose style, before studying photography Lorna’s noir style embraces life paintings, landscapes and large murals and cites photographer Helmut Newton as a source of inspiration, with her work previously exhibited in galleries across the UK including Leeds, Manchester & Liverpool. During the pandemic in March, and after a long period of over 20 years of not painting, Lorna decided to pick up her brushes once again and began to create a series of life drawings and paintings which she displayed on social media. Within weeks she had been commissioned to produce a number of pieces for all kinds of personal and commercial use. Amazingly, Lorna works from her home bathroom – which she converted into a studio over the last year. Her work includes large-scale murals.
Luca Curci – What’s your background? What is the experience that has influenced your work the most?
Lorna Bent – I have been painting and creating from a young age, spending endless hours drawing and sketching as a young teenager. My early influences were surrealism and contemporary art. The blend of the unconscious and reality was really something that interested me and made me want to pursue a career. I went to study Art & Design at college and later studied photography. My passion for the Avant-Garde movement continued, and I found my influences such as is Man Ray and Helmet Newton. Their voyeuristic, provocative black and style really struck a chord. Having exhibitions based around the UK was an exciting time. My children were born, the creativity took a back-seat and it was only during lockdown last year that I had time to reflect and start to be creative again. Starting from where I once began, I picked up my brushes and started to create some pieces of art. I started sharing my work on social media and the response has been truly amazing.
LC – What are your thoughts while you paint? Do you have any habits or rituals while you work?
LB – Being away from creativity and painting I was surprised how much of it is still kept inside you and it’s amazing how you don’t lose the skills. I love the feeling to be able to escape and find it a cathartic experience. I have turned my bathroom into my working studio as it was being renovated, so I just used the space, which is probably the most unusual setting for my work but it works! I would say my ritual is to listen to music, I find it is a great inspiration for my emotions and thought process before and whilst I paint.
LC – Did your style change over the years? In which way?
LB – As mentioned earlier my style has somewhat changed, being inspired by Surrealism at a young age I created more still life. After studying photography and the form of female bodies, I now prefer to more life drawing.
LC – Which art themes do you pursue? What is your preferred subject, if there is any?
LB – My preferred subject and mainstay of my work is the human body, especially the female. I’d say my themes are based around personal expression and voyeurism.
LC – How do you choose your subjects? Is it a reasoned or an instinctive process?
LB – Mainly my subjects are of the female body. I will have an idea or emotion I want to explore through painting. At times they can be reasoned and then from there I will look into different poses and positions of the figure to create the feeling I am trying to get achieve. Other times it is purely instinctive.
LC – Can you explain something about the artwork you have in our exhibition?
LB – The piece represents her hidden feelings and fears that she doesn’t want to face in everyday struggles. Through the water, she appears on top but within she is sinking. The fast pace of modern life is heading her way (depicted by the train). Does she hide, does she sink, or does she face her fears?
LC – What do you think about the concept of this festival? How did it inspire you?
LB – I saw the details of the festival online, and having visited Venice and the gallery a few years back I was inspired to create a piece that incorporated both the female body and the water. The Venice Festival is a very colourful event, however, I wanted to come from a different angle to question the hidden feelings and fears that may lie behind some of those Masquerade Masks. I never dreamed that one day my work would be displayed in such a wonderful place, it has been the most incredible story for me.
LC – Did you enjoy cooperating with us?
LB – Yes, ITSLIQUID Group has been a great point of contact and everything has been easy and well organized. It’s such a shame that we cannot visit due to lockdown.
LC – What are your suggestions about our services? Is there something more we can provide to artists?
LB – Everything seems good, and I have no issues at all. The support has been great!
LC – What is your idea about ITSLIQUID GROUP?
LB – It has enabled me to take my art to another level and I’m very proud to be part of the exhibition.