Chris Bennigsen

About Chris

I am an Armley-based artist particularly interested in exploring the connections between history, landscape and narrative. My work is influenced by modernist design schools such as the Bauhaus and De Stijl as well as graphic artists and designers like Otl Aicher and Peter Saville. I lot of my work has been digital or print based, but in the past few years I have also been exploring photography, sculpture and video art as well as researching some of the local area around Leeds and the Vale of York.

Since being a teenager, I have used graphic design software, mostly learning through experimentation and reading. This progressed into making various album covers and posters for friends’ bands before becoming the in-house designer for a brewery, helping build up their brand from scratch. 2 years ago I decided to get some more formal training through an MA in Art & Design at Leeds Beckett, which has helped move my work from purely graphic design into a more artistic practice.

I am particularly interested in local history and geography, and how stories are formed around them and made a part of the landscape. I love discovering stories hidden in small details, and understanding why and how places change over time.

I was particularly proud of some of the branding I made for Eyes Brewing while it was still operational, especially when it was featured in a BBC news report on the 2017 election filmed in a pub in Dewsbury! A series of my photographs were recently featured as part of an international exhibition of graduate photographers by The Pupil Sphere which I was really pleased to be a part of too.

About the project

I am making a series of miniature models of landmark buildings in Armley. Each of the Model Army models can be printed out, coloured in, cut out and assembled at home. Images of people’s creations can then be shared online with the hashtag #ModelArmley

With much of life moving online during lockdown, it can be easy to become a bit trapped in social media and video calls. This project aims to help move away from the claustrophobic natural of the digital world by asking people to slow down and engage with their physical self through colouring, cutting out and assembling the models.

 

One of the positive outcomes of lockdown is the way it has made life more local as the need and ability to travel elsewhere has been made almost obsolete. This project allows people to re-imagine Armley and create a model for how they might see it changing, embracing all the good there is in Armley whilst being able to put their own creative stamp on the area.

IG: @chrisbennigsen

chrisbennigsen.com