Blake Wood
Publish Date

The University of Illinois Springfield Visual Arts Gallery is pleased to present “Night Watch (Origin of the World),” an exhibition of photography and drawings by St. Louis-based artist Heather Bennett. “Night Watch (Origin of the World)” will open Oct. 19 and run through Nov. 16. A reception for this exhibition will be held at the gallery from 5 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 19. This event is free and open to the public.

In conjunction with this exhibition, the UIS Visual Arts Gallery will host a remote artist talk by Bennet at 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 2. Attendees can join via Zoom.  

“Night Watch (Origin of the World)” addresses the question “How can we hold spectacle and depth together in one body?” through a collision of works that trace the female subject, traditionally stuck within invisibility -- though ironically, often a showpiece and endlessly gazed upon. In this work, the ever-present female body and the simultaneously unseen female subject are transformed towards a celebration of their irreconcilability, the sparkling beauty of the subject in its place among the shadows.  Within this contradiction there is an underlying ecstatic freedom that cautiously steps over a precipice. There is a devastation present, as well as an effusive and elaborate beauty, which hints at a truth.

Bennett maintains a multimedia practice which consists of photography, video, drawing, text, sculpture, installation, as well as collaborations with musicians and writers. Her work traces the female subject and its historic irrelevance, focusing specifically on representation in contemporary culture. Bennett attempts to reveal an embodied subjecthood held within her protagonists. Pushing expectations of media, she disrupts assumptions, hoping to realign and reframe the relegated, feminine tinged space, to even recreate this space anew. Bennett has been featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions, nationally and internationally. She is currently a senior lecturer at Washington University in St. Louis.

This program is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency. The UIS Visual Arts Gallery is centrally located on the UIS campus in the Health and Science Building, room 201 (HSB 201). Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday. For more information and future exhibitions, visit the UIS Visual Arts Gallery website.