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Bénédicte Coleman
Arts for Health West Cork

Having spent the earlier part of my life in Cork, I moved to Beara in 1989 and have lived there since. While studying at the Crawford College of Art and Design from 2009-2013, I discovered a great material while foraging in garages –discarded vehicular air filters. These have become a major part of my work: I enjoy their capacity to imply sentience and to project multiple meanings.

A lifelong preoccupation with collecting coastal debris, which started on the Normandy coast when staying with my French grandfather as a child, and continued along the Beara coastline with my own children years later, has led to a large collection which I use as material for installations, both taxonomic and environmental.

My work usually takes the form of installation: a series of visual manifestations where the viewer is invited to fill in the narrative as best fits their own interpretation.

I like using cast-off materials and media, both man-made and organic, possibly because this focuses attention – both my own and that of the viewer – on actual outcomes rather than on the expectation of an anticipated result. My practice also involves drawing, photography, occasional printmaking, mixed media modelling and other techniques. I work a lot with children: I like the spontaneous way they manipulate materials, with no preconceptions as to their purpose or value.

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