Dail Behennah

This piece combines the things that are very important to me and which are constant in my work: ecology, geometry, structure and shadows.

I have been reading about Colony Collapse Disorder for some time and absorbing the various theories about why this is happening. When invited to make a piece of work for this exhibition I knew immediately that I wanted to make the ghost of a honeycomb – something that implies the absence of bees, and which casts a shadow larger than itself.

This hexagonal lattice appears frequently in nature, as it is the most efficient way to fill a space with the least amount of material: crystal structures, soap bubbles, the basalt columns of the Giant’s Causeway. However, whenever one sees a perfectly regular sheet composed of hexagonal cells it is always termed honeycomb.

As I am a basketmaker the simple way to build this structure would be to employ the hexagonal plaiting technique, but the resulting mixture of hexagons and triangles doesn’t immediately imply honeycomb. I had to devise a way of knotting hexagons with the fishing line, and had to make many layers to give the structure depth. Each layer took 3 hours to make, giving me plenty of time to reflect on the importance of bees.

Close inspection will reveal the structure within the shadows that it casts.

Dail Behennah 2010

Devon 1953

1985-1988 London College of Furniture (part time)
City & Guilds Diploma in Creative Crafts - Basketry, Parts I & II

Selected Exhibitions
2009 Intervention at Origin, Commissioned by the Crafts Council
2008 Affordable Art Fair, Twenty Twenty Stand, Battersea, London
Collect – Flow Stand, V&A Museum,  London
2007 Touch, Stroudwater Textile Festival (catalogue)
East Weaves West, Collins Gallery, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow (tour, catalogue)
Baskets as Architecture, Mobilia Gallery, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
Member’s Showcase, Devon Guild of Craftsmen, Bovey Tracey
Urban Field. Contemporary Applied Arts, London
2006 Dail Behennah – Wood + Stone, Nääs Konsthantverk Galleri, Nr. Gothenburg, Sweden
2005 Collect – Devon Guild of Craftsmen Stand, V&A Museum, London
2004 Collect–Crafts Council Stand, V&A Museum, London
Hands Across the Border, The Gallery, Ruthin Craft Centre, Denbighshire
2002 SOFA, Chicago, on Crafts Council stand
The Unexpected Too, Sotheby’s, New York, USA
2001 From Across the Pond, Browngrotta Arts, Wilton, Connecticut, USA
Crossover, Bury St Edmunds Art Gallery, Suffolk
Natural Choice, Contemporary Applied Arts, London
Wired, Browngrotta Arts, Wilton, Connecticut, US
Thirteen Hands, curated by Caol Crafts Team, West Highland Museum, Scotland (tour)
2000 Japanese Connections, Chukyo University Art Gallery, Nagoya, Japan (tour)
1989 Contemporary Basketmakers , Ruskin Craft Gallery

Crafts Council Collection
Castle Museum, Norwich
Somerset County Museum
Bankfield Museum, Halifax
Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge
Prior’s Court School, Oxon
Doncaster Museum & Art Gallery
Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool
Worcester Museum & Art Gallery
New Ruskin Gallery, Sheffield
Shipley Art Gallery, Gateshead
Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery

Major Commissions 
2009 Labelled, a major installation of 500 enamelled labels for Plymouth City Museum & Art Gallery. 
2007 Lead artist for refurbishment of Accident & Emergency Department, Taunton & Somerset Hospital. Work included design and installation of two screens and design of vinyl flooring and signage.
2006 In collaboration with Nick Childs, architect, design of
balustrade, doors and windows for building at Harbourside, Bristol.
1997 Trophies for the FT/ABSA Awards, with glass maker Bob Crooks
1993 Waste bins in aluminium & steel for Castle Park, Bristol
1991  Baskets for the foyer of the Hewlett Packard Training Centre, Wokingham






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