My recent sculpture takes inspiration from various forms of jewelry such as rings, brooches, and pendants. I am intrigued by jewelry’s common inclusion of two separate materials—stone and metal. My work plays with that contrast in its juxtaposition of two violently dissimilar surface textures—the polished, shiny, and reflective versus the rough and pitted. I am infatuated with the interplay between the setting and the jewel. By interchanging form and surface, I pose an uncertainty as to which holds more importance—that which holds the object or that which is displayed. By constantly testing this distinction I seek to question the value we place on all material objects.
The concepts of attraction, desire and obsession are paramount in my work. As much as its jewelry-like qualities are meant to reflect emotions such as greed, sexuality is referred to in various abstractions of body parts, referring to corporeal longing and lust. These sexual parts are displayed like jewels, as rare and precious objects of desire. My pieces emphasize the tension between the attractive beauty of an object and the corruptive power of lustful obsession with that object.
The bulbous, organic forms of my work evoke a memory of the material’s history—a record of its past condition of malleability and plasticity. Recollection of the object’s former state is also apparent in the shiny, reflective surfaces, bringing to mind the fluidity of liquid metal. These aspects of my work, combined with the bubbly look of the glazes (which recalls the fact that at one time these materials were supremely hot) impart a plea for a particularly sensual response, calling to mind the beginning of things—the primitive, the wet, and the molten. Color plays a part in this fascination with the primordial, especially in combination with the texture imparted by my glazing technique. I place the green of mildew, molds, and mosses next to the fiery, lava-like blush of orange and red.
My work expresses an enthrallment with the primitive: desire and instinct, the attraction and need for the sensual and the physical, our connection with the elemental.
— Scott Bennett