Aaron Tennessee Benson: Veiled: a space between

“Shade” by Aaron Tennessee Benson

“Shade” by Aaron Tennessee Benson

On view January 12 - February 17, 2019

RECEPTION AND ARTIST TALK: Saturday January 12th, 7-9p.m.

Artist statement:

“Veiled is a series that describes the difficulty in believing in something that you cannot see. I recently was standing at the edge of the Pacific Ocean staring out in wonder at its vastness. It dawned on me that thousands of miles across is the country of Japan. I have met many Japanese people. I have heard Japanese spoken. I have even seen pictures and documentaries about the country.  However, I have never been to Japan. As I looked across the great ocean, I thought about the fact that even though I have never been to Japan, to deny its existence would be a grave mistake.

“My faith promises an eternity. I personally believe this is an absolute truth, despite the fact that I have not experienced life after death. This series narrates my thoughts about a truth I believe, but cannot prove. Each sculpture in the series has a veil either literally or figuratively that obscures the gaze of the viewer to see what is on the other side. The tension created when our senses cannot fully deliver the information we crave, to form our experiences, is both mystifying and alluring. While the open and minimal nature of the work resonate qualities of the eternal, working with clay, natural textiles, pigments, and metals allows for the elemental materials to echo what is earthly, human, and finite. The desire to understand, even what is apparently impossible to know through our senses, moves me to make, and in the making my senses appease my thoughts with impressions of the eternal.”

- Aaron Tennessee Benson

Aaron Tennessee Benson received his MFA in Ceramics from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University and his BFA in Ceramics from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. He has been an intern at Anderson Ranch Art Center in Colorado and a long-term resident and MJD Fellow at the Archie Bray Foundation in Montana. Benson’s work has been published, collected, and exhibited both nationally and internationally. His work uses an assortment of material such as clay, steel, wood, concrete, and gold to explore his interests in time and eternity. He is currently an Assistant Professor and Director of Ceramic and Sculpture at the University of North Alabama. He is married to Allison Benson who is also a ceramic artist. They have 4 beautiful children Reese, Knox, Bray, and Capri. Aaron and Allison are both committed to the arts as a profession and lifestyle.

To see more of his work, visit aarontbenson.com.

Contact: aarontennessee@gmail.com