Line, Light & Shadow
I have been an artist and maker for 35 years.

A part time City & Guilds course in Basketry gave me a thorough grounding in the use of many different materials and techniques, following which I was fortunate to receive a Setting Up grant from the Crafts Council. From that point onward I have worked full time as a maker and my work has been purchased for many public and private collections.

When traditional techniques were not suitable for an idea, I invented my own. Coiled baskets are found all over the world and date from prehistory but I have not seen any examples where the coils have been cut and spliced to make a point, as in the leaf shaped dishes I made in the 1990’s.

The stacks of willow grids I created from 2000 onward were another innovation. Constructed as one would build a relief map, a reference to my degree in Geography, they are pinned together with wire, wooden pegs or welding rods. The layers shift as the viewpoint changes and the shadows cast are complex and beautiful.

I am currently working almost exclusively with paper to make undulating surfaces using a 3 directional, 3 dimensional plaiting technique. These may be very large and free hanging, or smaller and framed. Light and shadows play across the complex surface, further emphasised with graphite or ink, and different facets come into and out of focus as the viewer shifts. I enjoy investigating the wealth of complex geometry to be discovered in the structure.

My work takes time and the slow process and manual concentration frees my mind to think. An idea and the making of it stimulate and change each other. By the time I have finished one piece I have imagined another 10, of which only one will be made. I work with care and precision, creating well finished pieces that will last for many years.

My work has developed and changed but my preoccupation with line, light and shadow has remained constant. Above all I try to give a feeling of calm, but not stillness.

Dail Behennah 2023