Tom Benner: Call of the Wild
Born and raised in London, Ontario, Tom Benner has been a practicing artist since receiving his special Arts Diploma from the Bealart program at H.B. Beal Secondary School in 1969. His work has been exhibited widely across North America. Since the early 1980s, Benner’s artistic attentions have explored the relationship between human beings and nature and have continued to involve a sustained exploration of the environment, of history and of the land. Additional information may be found on the artist’s website at www.tombenner.ca
Call of the Wild features a selection of works that explore our relationship to the natural world that span the breadth of Benner’s long career. The sculptural works are often large scale creations fabricated from metal, fibreglass, leather, wood, paper and found objects, and although each is strongly rooted within a tradition of narrative and story-telling, they are equally concerned with materiality. Hand-crafted, visibly-shaped, Benner’s cross-disciplinary approach to his work makes use of drawing, painting, printmaking, installation and sculpture.
Writer Joan Murray proclaimed in her 1999 publication Canadian Art in the Twentieth Century “Benner has transformed history into an imaginary landscape, one that is bleak but offers a timely perspective – physical, political and mental. In a way, Tom Benner is characteristic of Canadian artists today, speculative as they venture into familiar – and unfamiliar – territory.”