Sharon Bennett is a socially engaged artist and collaborator. Often working with community groups, artists or family and friends she blurs the boundaries between the traditional positions of artist, artwork and audience. By orchestrating situations that disrupt every day life, Bennett opens up a space where participants can meet, play, and be generous or share in generosity.
Bennett’s work has featured in arts festivals around the UK, including Art Licks, London 2018; Tribe, Oxo Tower Bargehouse 2017, London; Site Festival, Stroud 2016 and 2019 and Portsmouth Festivities 2017, 2018 and 2019. She has worked with Aspex Gallery, Portsmouth on a number of projects including being artist in residence at the gallery in June 2018 and 2019. She has also featured in a number of publications including Growing Stuff An Alternative Guide to Gardening published by Black Dog Publishing, London, 2009, This Is Not A School. Book, Five Years Gallery, London, 2012 and (Im)Possible School Book: As Found. Appendix., Five Years Gallery, London, 2012.
Bennett is co-founder of artist collective The Women’s Art Activation System (WAAS) with Sarah Dixon. In 2019 the WAAS were invited to perform an on-going artwork entitled A Visit by the Officials of the Bureau for the Validation of Art, at Social Works?: Live, hosted by Axisweb & Manchester Metropolitan University. The piece offers a validation ritual in the form of an ‘official’ bureaucratic process, addressing the psychological aspects of being either in the centre or on the periphery of the art world. They were also recipients of the Coop Midcounties Fund to pilot their project, The Baby Makers and were selected to be one of 10 artists/collectives invited to participate in the Kickstarter/Social Art Network mentor scheme.
Bennett is also co-founder of Croshare, a participatory project that uses crochet as a catalyst for the creation of pop-up community happenings and is one half of artist duo Bennett & McDermott with Dan McDermott. Bennett & McDermott were shortlisted for the Best Visual Artist at the Portsmouth Guide Awards for their first collaboration, Twenty Years.
Bennett was interviewed by AN for their Artist Parent Resources and is a recipient of their 2020 artist bursary.