My name is Bryony Benge-Abbott and I’m a London-based artist and curator, with a BA (Hons) in Fine Art Painting and an MA in Museology (the theory and management of museums).
I founded Bryony&Bloom in 2013. Initially, the studio created homeware products for the UK interiors sector and exhibited surface pattern designs around the world. In 2017, however, I took the decision to stop manufacturing products and instead to expand my practice into public realm commissions and collaborations, alongside continuing to develop my own body of work, largely oil painting.
I have relished the opportunity this has given me to work with inspiring organisations, community groups and individuals; creating artworks that are entirely unique for each client, that respond directly to their narrative and environment, is hugely rewarding. It’s also shaping my own practice, through which I experiment with immersive pattern and colour, play with scale and space, and explore the botanical world and our connection with it. At the moment, I am particularly interested in works of art that hold multiple narratives and blend the old with the new, the familiar with the unfamiliar.
For over 10 years, I have also curated and designed exhibitions around the UK. In doing so, I have developed strong project management skills, a passion for visual storytelling and a keen interest in community engagement and audience participation.
And the bloom?
The Bloom in Bryony&Bloom is all about seeking new perspectives on the world around us. By inviting the viewer to enter into a richly intricate, botanical world, the hope is that closer interactions will strengthen feelings of awe, wonder and the desire to protect. It originally came from the saying ‘bloom where you’re planted’, which I took literally: victorious weeds growing through concrete, tangled vines taking over abandoned buildings, hardy lichen surviving - thriving! - in challenging environments.
Plant resilience and the broader ecological and evolutionary dynamics of interconnectedness has informed my approach to working within the public realm. Unexpected and unusual locations are particularly exciting - spaces that are crying out for an injection of colour, as well as the opportunity to create works of art that help foster mutual understanding within communities.
We all know that images are powerful. Not only do the images that surround us influence our thoughts, feelings and behaviours, they are also a statement of what we value - as individuals and as a society. Giving time to create a site-specific Bryony&Bloom mural is therefore both a clear statement of worth and respect to those who live, work or play in that environment, as well as a value statement on the importance of the biodiversity celebrated within it.