Graham Bennett's sculptures address relationships between people, place and identity. Recognised as one of New Zealand's foremost contemporary sculptors, Bennett has completed numerous large scale public and private commissions in Asia and Australasia.
His work, Reason for Voyaging, on the forecourt of Christchurch Art Gallery|Te Puna o Waiwhetu is a particular local favourite. Works of a comparable scale and significance exist at Gibb's Farm and Connells Bay Sculpture Park, Waiheke; Haitai Valley Sculpture Park, Seoul; and locally at Ohinetahi, Governor's Bay.
Through a range of media, including steel, stone, wood and bronze, and on a domestic and large scale, Bennett has developed a sculptural language which considers the impact that our particular location and environment has on our thinking, our sense of identity and our vision.
Emphasising the connectedness of all people through sea, land and sky, much of Bennett's work contains an ongoing fascination with measuring, mapping and navigating.
A recurring motif in his work is the latitudinal and longitudinal division of the globe in 1/18th segments. He also references celestial position fixing and navigational devices. Often complex in design and theory, and testament to precision engineering, Bennett's works warrant thoughtful consideration and time.
Throughout his oeuvre he explores our fragile relationship with the earth and asks “What are we looking at and how are we seeing it? What captures out attention and what do we do about that?” He creates works which examine what we are registering and measuring now, and the warning signs that are everywhere and yet which we choose to ignore. He aims to draw attention to the tenuous relationship between issues that confront us and the time we think we have or haven't got to resolve them, thus inviting speculation about the future.
Bennett's work particularly refers to the Pacific region and Aotearoa/New Zealand as an island nation and yet resonates within an international context with recent solo exhibitions in Japan and Hong Kong well received.