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 is co-founder of artist collective The Women’s Art Activation System (WAAS) with Sarah Dixon. They were recently selected to be one of 10 artists/collectives invited to participate in the Kickstarter/Social Art Network mentor scheme. In April 2019 they 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.
For Portsmouth Festivities 2019 Bennett was artist-in-residence with Dan McDermott at Aspex, Portsmouth. They presented an interactive installation entitled: Twenty Years. The installation invited people of all ages to reflect on life and society since 1999 and explore community visions in the light of climate change and global politics, for the next 20 years.
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. With Tom Jeram-West, she co-founded Croshare, a participatory project that uses crochet as a catalyst for the creation of pop-up community happenings. 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.
In 2018 Bennett was interviewed by AN for their Artist Parent Resources.