Bryony Benge-Abbott

From tiny fragments of lichen clinging to inner-city walls to dense tropical rainforest undergrowth, Bryony’s murals, paintings, drawings and installations play with pattern, scale and composition, and move between symbolism, abstraction and expressionism as they reach for immersive studies of nature.

Bryony is inspired by the geographical concept of place, tracing human-made meanings of the natural world through space and time. Journeys into landscapes, macro and micro, are intertwined with encounters with ancestral memory, references to cultural, natural and political histories, and reflections on ecological interconnectedness. Conversely, as fascinated as she is by our human projection of meaning upon non-human nature, Bryony is also curious about the community and communications that exist beyond human perception and understanding. 

Bryony’s interest in the limits of our vision in observing the ‘everyday’ nature on our doorstep has led to the development of wild drawing, a creative practice she shares through guided walks, encouraging a fuller sensory and emotional exploration of landscape.

She grounds her studio work in primary source research, layering tangible and intangible heritage and interweaving maps, mythology and botany in her ongoing search to find new perspectives on our human relationship with nature. From treks through rainforests and ancient woodlands to residencies and collaborations with scientists, conservationists and community groups, Bryony collects inspiration wherever she goes and often works en plein air, studying the world around her before bringing it back to the studio.

In moving between sensations of losing / finding oneself in the landscape, her recent works are becoming increasingly mixed-media, large-scale and spatial. Like palimpsests, each painting is built in layers of oils, spray paints, acrylic, pencil, ink, resin and textiles, the process of which is becoming an integral part of her working-out and research.