Take a look at Duane Bahia Benatti's works  - the #UKGermany2018 artist in residence was inspired by Neil Brownswords works at the "Further thoughts on earthly materials exhibition" and has visited former ceramics factories across Germany.  ©

Duane Bahia Benatti , "Krone", 2017, Mica and ceramic ,Variable dimensions (around 18 x 23 x 23 cm)


As one of our #UKGermany2018 artists in residence, Duane Bahia Benatti visited the “Further thoughts on earthly materials exhibition” that took place in Hamburg and Bremen. The exhibition brought together works of a younger generation of artists that take an unconventional approach to ceramic material and establish references to the present. It shed a light on an emerging art movement that deliberately uses haptic materials and artisan production processes and therewith counteracts the dominant contemporary art reflecting virtual realities and the digitization of the world.

Duane has been researching ceramics during his time as a student at Burg Giebichenstein in Halle and as an artist for the last two years. 

The artist chose to respond to the video by British artist Neil Brownsword, where exhibition spectators could watch images of former British ceramic fabrics. He also learned more about Brownsword’s experiences with another artists during a series of workshops in former British ceramic fabrics by reading his essay “Topography of the Obsoltete: Exploring Site Specific and Associated Histories of Post Industry”. 

“I was interested in the topic of ceramics and have often visited former ceramic fabrics and obsolete industries. As an artist and citizen, I consider it important and urgent to reflect on our industrial heritage, urbanism and history in general. I find it interesting to analyse the specifics of each place, its relation to ceramics and the way that each place deals with its industrial legacy.“ 

 Take a look at how those have inspired him and how he reacted to the pieces!

“I was particularly inspired to see a contemporary art exhibition where ceramics were not necessarily artwork or objects but the main theme” said Duane about the 'Further thought on earthly materials' exhibition in Hamburg and Bremen. ©

Duane Bahia Benatti, "Krone", 2017, Mica and ceramic, Variable dimensions (around 18 x 23 x 23 cm).


His works have been influenced by the buildings that he worked in: "The first studio I rented was at a former radio station in Berlin. In Leipzig I rented a studio at the Spinnerei, a former cotton fabric and later at the Dietzold Fabrik. Here I was inspired by the impact of these hubs on the cities. Each of these industry buildings nowadays host artists studios but significantly changed its neighborhood with their individual histories" ©

Duane Bahia Benatti  from the series: "das dritte Ufer des Flusses" no title, 2018, Keramik, Steinzeug und Glimmer, different dimensions ( 40 x 50 x 30cm)

Duane has studied ceramics and former ceramic hubs and buildings in his home country Brasil, Portugal as well as Germany. Through visiting closed porcelain factories such as the Kaolin mine close to Halle he started to think about the role of both closed down spaces as well as craftsmanship in society. ©

Nina Naußend

Seein the works of Neil Brownsword and his film on ceramics has not only inspired Duane's vision for ceramics as one of his own artforms, he is also thinking about how to preserve ceramic traditions through his own art works. ©

Nina Naußend

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