Multitasking 2015


BRITTA BENNO (1984) will open her personal exhibition Multitasking in Hobusepea gallery at 6 pm on December 16, 2015.
Britta Benno is one of the most distinguished young Estonian artists who is consistently active in the field of drawing and graphic art. According to the artist, she looks for the possibilities how to make these media „alive“ in the context of contemporary art while combining physical drawing and projected animation in her video installations. At the same time, in her daily artist practice Benno continuously uses traditional printmaking techniques. The main subjects of the current exhibition – family life, being a mother and at the same time an artist – has intrigued Benno for quite some time.
The concept of „multitasking“ inspired Benno when she was reading a website for families with children – the Estonian equivalent (quite an ugly phrase „rööprähklemine“) seemed to the artist an accurate word to define her own life. „Besides having a twenty-three roles at home, I also have jobs in the field of art. While combining these two worlds and roles, I play with the symbols of motherhood and housekeeping in the form of art,“ explains Benno.
The most substantial part of the exhibition Multitasking is made by etchings and aquatints that are based on staged photographs where the artist has used reproductions depicting Madonna with children by Raphael, Filippo Lippi, Elisabetta Sirani and others.
Benno has used herself and her children as models in her natural, messy home environment for her staged photographs that have been taken by her husband. However, the situation around the strong and proud-looking mother should cause dispair – this is real life: the children are crying, the stack of dirty dishes in the background, odd pairs of socks are drying above the kitchen stove, washing machine is covered by the pile of clothes. Despite all this, the artist looks in her graphic work like a motherly Madonna while staring at the conscience of a curious viewer.
The other central image of the present exhibition is a cloth or a rag that can be seen in pencil drawings, video work and as objects. As the artist says, „When you delve into ugly objects, they will become beautiful – even more beautiful than flowers.“ This simple image not only stands for domestic worlds, cleaning and washing but is also a useful tool for a graphic artist. Thus, similar cloths belong to the artist’s valuable personal time in her studio and acquire quite a different meaning.
According to Benno, searching for balance between work and family life culminates with the combination of joy and anguish: „Animation projected to the drawing denotes a bright place – the moment of rest by the sea – the dream of a multitasker. On the other hand, the linocut self-portrait symbolizes the darkest corner of my soul – sometimes I don’t even understand my position when I switch between different roles.“

Text: Laura Põld

Britta Benno is a graphic and drawing artist living in Tallinn. She has obtained a MA degree in the department of printmaking in the faculty of fine arts at the Estonian Academy of Arts in 2011. Benno has been participating in exhibitions since 2005. For several past years, she has held courses of drawing and various printmaking techniques at the Estonian Academy of Arts and been an art teacher in Collegium Educationis Revaliae, Old Town Art House, Tallinn.
As an artist, Benno has taken part in several art groups, curated group exhibitions and art events as well as founded an independent printmaking studio Grafodroom where both residents and visiting artists can work with traditional printmaking techniques in a relaxed atmosphere. Britta Benno is a member of Estonian Artists’ Association and the Association of Estonian Printmakers. Her latest personal exhibition „Fight with the windmills“ was held in Draakon gallery in 2013.

Exhibition will be open until January 11, 2016.

Supported by the Cultural Endowment of Estonia and Estonian Artists’ Association.

Exhibitions in Hobusepea gallery are supported by the Cultural Endowment of Estonia and Estonian Ministry of Culture.


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