An Unusual Arrangement

January 2019

"An Unusual Arrangement", the title of Sayal-Bennett's installation at Robert Young Antiques, the third in a series of Contemporary Collaborations, showcasing works by emerging artists, exploring relationships between historic and modern works of art.

Amba Sayal-Bennett lives and works in London. She received her BFA from Oxford University and her MA in The History of Art from The Courtauld Institute. She has recently completed her PhD in Art Practice and Learning at Goldsmiths. She is currently studying Sculpture at the Royal College of Art. Recent exhibitions include: "Fakers", Thames-Side Studios Gallery, London; "Some Places Exist Only Once", Schimmel Projects Art Centre, Dresden; "Opening Remarks", Athr Gallery, Jeddah; "As You Become", Exhibit 320, Delhi; "To Our Fellow Artists and Poets Who Are Confused About Which Way to Go", Lundgren Gallery, Palma de Mallorca; and "ROYGBIV", Kate Werble Gallery, New York.

For this installation, Sayal-Bennett studied and re-made objects she discovered in the from Robert Young Antiques Collection, drawing on their photographic cataloguing conventions to explore the effects and affects caused by their bracketing out of context. She uses translation and reconstruction as methods of enquiry to account for the active role of matter, or non-human bodies, in processes of knowing. By re-recreating a lighting device, bending the metal by hand and manipulating the curved form, she discovered that the irregular circles in the original object were contingent on the properties of the material. This observation arose out of sustained material enquiry. In An Unusual Arrangement Sayal-Bennett stages and explores how her experience of knowing is one of material participation.

Sayal-Bennett’s practice interrogates how one’s material environment can be encountered as a ‘live surface’, and her work engages with the sensations and textures through which ordinary life is experienced. It is this dislodging of physical sensation from natural referents that she explores within her work, principally through the de-contextualization, translation, and restaging of affective experiences.