Christopher Bennie transfixes the viewer with a vision of daily existence and the ordinary through his video works. His subject matter is overtly banal, his videos have documented his own rippling back muscles, his girlfriend’s bottom and a poorly executed dance around his house. While the approach in these videos is unsettling, as they hover between voyeurism, narcissism and naivety, they also reveal something of the monumental in the often overlooked. These works are the artist’s attempt at pursuing experiences of authenticity and familiarity in today’s society of the spectacle and invite the viewer to revel in their own private experiences and encounters as lost moments in time that should be appreciated. Bennie’s cheeky approach is exemplified by the video A Wee Sunset (2009) in which the artist contrasts the beauty of a dust laden orange sky with the silhouette of his own urination…As Bennie explains, “with tongue in cheek the video exemplifies as well as repudiates romanticism in favour of a profound and leaky existence".
Dr Jess Berry
Chris Bennie is an artist living in Brisbane, Australia. He graduated with a Doctorate of Visual Arts in 2009 from Griffith University where he was awarded a Griffith University Post Graduate Scholarship to research Authenticity, Video Art, and the Spectacle of Contemporary Existence. He has had numerous solo exhibitions and participated in major group exhibitions in prestigious venues nationally and internationally including Oceans From Here, Australian Centre for Photography, Sydney (2018); Ecstasy: Baroque and Beyond, University of Queensland Art Museum, Brisbane (2017); Innerspace, Canberra Contemporary Artspace (2015); The National Artists Self Portrait Prize, University of Queensland Art Museum, Brisbane (2013); New Psychedelia, University of Queensland Art Museum, Brisbane (2011); Photo LA, Los Angeles (2010); Biennale of Sydney: Revolutions – Forms That Turn, Sydney/online (2008); Contemporary Australia: optimism, Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane (2008); and +Plus Factors, Australian Centre of Contemporary Art, Melbourne (2006).
His solo exhibitions include: The Citizens, a Clutch Collective project, Park Genie, Bowen Hills (2017); Mood Swings, Griffith University Pop Gallery, Brisbane (2017); On Top, In Front, Gold Coast City Gallery (2017); When Will We Ever be Forever Together, Alaska Projects, Sydney (2015); Control Rooms + The Waves, PhotoAccess, Canberra (2015); A Wee Sunset, Linden Contemporary Art Centre, Melbourne (2010); Jordie, Contemporary Art Centre of South Australia Project Space, Adelaide (2009); and Slower, Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane (2003). His work has won The Gold Coast Art Prize (2012); Swell Sculpture Festival Prize (2013); The Clayton Utz Art Prize (2014); and highly commended in The John Fires Art Prize (2013).
Chris is dedicated to the advocacy of visual culture within society and has pursued many projects that facilitate opportunities for not only his own work but also his colleagues and peers. Since his undergraduate training at the Queensland College of Art, Gold Coast Campus 2001 he has directed an artist run initiative (MSSR, 2006-11); contributed to industry boards and committees (The Walls Art Space board member, Regional Arts Development Fund committee, Asialink Selection Committee); facilitated exhibitions and developed Public Programs (Griffith University Art Museum 2011-13, The Walls Artspace 2013—); provided art handling services to major art museums (Institute of Modern Art, Gallery of Modern Art, University of Queensland Art Museum, Museum of Brisbane 2005-2013); and contributed to education at Secondary and Tertiary levels (Flying Arts Artist on Tour and sessional and fixed term contracts at Griffith University and University of Canberra/Tafe Brisbane).
Chris is regularly invited to deliver artists talks, workshops and contribute his industry and conceptual experience to pre-selection committees and on panel discussions/symposiums (The Churchie Emerging Art Award 2013/2018, The Elaine Bermingham National Watercolour Prize 2017, Swell Sculpture Festival 2017).
His contribution to the ecology of the sector has been awarded in the form of numerous grants and prizes including: two Australia Council New Work Grants (2010, 2013); a Regional Arts Development Fund Grant ($12000, 2013); Brisbane City Council Creative Sparks Grant ($20000, 2007); and Arts Queensland Development and Presentation Grant ($50000, 2007). In 2014 he was awarded a $12000 Asialink Residency to Youkobo Artspace, Tokyo to research communities and objects affected by the 2011 Great East Japan Tsunami.
2019 Sunscreening, The Walls, Miami, Gold Coast
Borderlands, M Arts Space, Murwillumbah
2018 Oceans From Here, Australian Centre for Photography, Sydney
Surf Salon, The Walls Artspace, Miami, Gold Coast
Everybody NOW, Commonwealth Games Festival 2018, Broadbeach, Gold Coast
The Night Watch, The Walls + Commonwealth Games Festival 2018, Gold Coast
Local Loops, Commonwealth Games Festival 2018, Southport, Gold Coast
2017 Ecstasy: Baroque and Beyond, University of Queensland Art Museum, Brisbane.
Sculpture at Scenic World, Blue Mountains New South Wales
Too Close To Call, Pine Rivers Regional Art Gallery
2016 Shift, Judith Wright Centre, Brisbane
Resort, James St. Brisbane
Plenty, Brisbane Powerhouse
Dhanamenta, Miami, Gold Coast
2015 Innrerspace, Canberra Contemporary Artspace, Canberra
Hung Out to Dry, University of Queensland Art Museum, Brisbane
2014 Compulsion Loop, Boxcopy, Brisbane. Curated by Sarah Baron
Daze Me, Raze Me, Faze Me, (Fibro Coast) La Costa Hotel, Bilinga, Gold Coast
Absence/Presence, SpiroGrace Gallery, Brisbane
2012 SafARI, Alaska Projects, Sydney
When You Drink The Water, Remember The Spring, Ryan Renshaw Gallery, Brisbane
Greatest Hits, Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane
Immediacy, APT 7 Satellite Exhibition curated by jay younger and Beth Jackson, Brisbane
2011 New Psychedelia, University of Queensland Art Museum, Brisbane.
2010 Suburbia, Redcliffe Regional Art Gallery, Redcliff
Something or Other, Old Space, Brisbane
Flying Colours, Gold Coast Art Gallery, Gold Coast
Downsize, Metro Arts, Brisbane
2009 99 Reasons, Old Space, Brisbane
MSSR Exposure, Metro Arts, Brisbane
Lean Towards Indifference, Metro Arts, Brisbane
2008 Contemporary Australia: Optimism, Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane
The Orebro International Video Art Festival, Orebro, Sweden
Shoot Low, They Are Riding Shetland’s. Queensland Centre of Photography. Brisbane
Sydney Biennale, Revolutions: forms that turn, online venue website, Sydney
2007 New Work 3 PICA, Perth
Arc Biennial with The General Will (The Delirious Studio), QUT Art Museum, Brisbane
Alluring Dystopias. George Petelin Gallery, Gold Coast
D/Art/07: the post-cinema experience. d/Lux/MediaArts, Sydney
Figuratively Speaking: The figure in contemporary video art, QUT Art Museum, Brisbane
The One And The Many with The General Will (An Afternoon of Leisure), Dell Gallery, Brisbane
2006 Greatest Hits, Previously Unreleased Tracks, Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane (touring)
Electrofringe – Magic Sound Hour, Civic Playhouse Theatre, Newcastle
The General Will, Firstdraft Sydney
The General Will presents general will, Ryan Renshaw Gallery, Brisbane
Transit-Lounge, Transit Lounge project space, Berlin
+Plus Factors, Australian Centre of Contemporary Art, Melbourne
Exercises in Freedom. State Library of Queensland, Brisbane
2005 Boo Hooray. ABC 2 and ABC broadband
Phatspace International Ate Video Show, Phatspace, Sydney
Pirate Satellite, Spacement Gallery, Melbourne
2004 Hatched, Perth Institute of Contemporary Art
The Departure Lounge, Queensland Centre of Photography, Brisbane
Savvy: new Australian art, Queensland University of Technology Art Museum, Brisbane
Latitude Neo Gallery, Brisbane
All that Glitters: Contemporary Visions of the Gold Coast, Gold Coast Art Gallery, Gold Coast
2003 Open for Inspection. 60 Merivale St. Brisbane
More than Nothing: Nothing More, Soapbox Gallery, Brisbane
2002 The National Australia Bank Private Bank Contemporary Art Prize, Thornquest Gallery, Gold Coast
2001 The Thursday Plantation East Coast Sculpture Show. Ballina
2019 Future Garden (Ree Hegh + Chris Bennie) Shelter + Storm, Wellington St. Projects, Sydney
Future Garden (Ree Hegh + Chris Bennie) Shelter + Storm, BSA Project Space, Mullumbimby
2018 River (Creek St. Remix). Art Pharmacy Digital Screen Commission, Brisbane
2017 The Citizen, Clutch Collective, Park Genie, Bowen Hills
Mood Swings, Griffith University Pop Gallery, Brisbane
On Top, In Front, Gold Coast City Gallery
2015 The Waves + Control Rooms, PhotoAccess, Canberra
When Will We Ever Be Forever Together, Alaska Projects, Sydney
2014 The Kissing Swans, Bundaberg Recreation Centre, Bundaberg
Fern Studio Floor: a cosmology, The Walls Contemporary Art Space, Miami, Gold Coast
2013 Move, Hold Artspace, Brisbane
2012 Tent Peg, curated by Anna Zammitt, Ryan Renshaw Window Space
Five Films of Fortuitous Frivolous Fervent, The Wandering Room, Brisbane
2010 A Wee Sunset, Linden Contemporary Art Centre, Melbourne
2009 Smooth Machines curated by Anna Zammit, South Bank, Brisbane
Jordie, Contemporary Art Centre of South Australia Project Space, Adelaide
Chris Bennie Doctorate of Visual Art Exhibition, Brisbane
2008 Two Ships. Australian Centre for Photography, Sydney.
2007 Uncovering the once discovered, State Library of Queensland, Brisbane
2006 Our Communication Recorded, Blindside Artist Run Space, Melbourne
Our Communication Recorded, MSSR project, Brisbane
Moving Math Queensland College of Art Galleria, Brisbane
New Video: made in China. Griffith University Queensland College of Art Galleria, Brisbane
2005 Christopher Bennie: Video work 2001–2005, Queensland College of Art White Box Gallery, Brisbane
2003 Slower, Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane
2002 Pool Party Whitebox Gallery, Gold Coast
2001 My Successes My Failures, Thornquest Gallery, Gold Coast
WINNING + COMMENDED AWARDS
2019 The Neumann Foundation Swell Sculpture Award, Swell Sculpture Festival, Currumbin, Queensland
2016 Urban Oasis Public Art Mentorship Award, Gold Coast City Council
Highly Commended Noosa Art Prize, Noosa Regional Gallery
2014 Winner The Clayton Utz Art Prize, Brisbane
2013 Winner Swell Sculpture Festival, Currumbin Beach
Highly Commended John Fries Memorial Art Prize, Gaffa Gallery, Sydney (highly commended)
2012 Winner Gold Coast Art Prize, Gold Coast Art Gallery
2004 Runner Up Gold Coast Art Prize, Gold Coast City Gallery
2019 North Sydney Art Prize, Coal Loader Centre for Sustainability, Sydney
2018 BAM Art Prize (as Future Garden with Ree Hegh), Byron Bay
2017 Sunshine Coast Art Prize, Caloundra
2016 Sunshine Coast Art Prize, Caloundra Regional Gallery
Moreton Bay Art Prize, Strathpine Community Centre, Brisbane
2015 The Churchie National Emerging Art Award, Griffith University Art Gallery, Brisbane
The Josephine Ulrich and Wynn Schubert Photography Prize, Gold Coast Art Gallery
2014 The Josephine Ulrich and Wynn Schubert Photography Prize, Gold Coast Art Gallery
2013 National Artists’ Self Portrait Prize, University of Queensland Art Museum, Brisbane
Bondi Sculpture By The Sea, Sydney
The Clayton Utz Contemporary Art Prize, Brisbane
2012 The Clayton Utz Contemporary Art Prize, Brisbane
2011 The Clayton Utz Contemporary Art Prize, Brisbane
Substation Art Prize, Melbourne
2010 Josephine Ulrick and Win Schubert Photography Award, Gold Coast Art Gallery, Gold Coast
City of Hobart Art Prize, Tasmania
2009 Stan and Maureen Duke Gold Coast Art Prize. Gold Coast Art Gallery. Gold Coast
GAS Art Prize, Griffith University Art Gallery, Brisbane
2008 HTM Wilson Art Prize, Touring Sophie Gannon, Melbourne. Grant Pirrie, Sydney. Jan Manton, Brisbane
2007 Stan and Maureen Duke Gold Coast Art Prize. Gold Coast Art Gallery. Gold Coast
The Queensland Artworkers Alliance Award, Brisbane
2006 The Queensland Artworkers Alliance Award, Brisbane
2005 Prometheus visual arts award. Merrimac, Queensland.
The Queensland Artworkers Alliance Award, Brisbane
The Raw Space Lumin Art Prize
2004 Space Invaders: Toowoomba Biennial Emerging Artists Award Exhibition, Toowoomba
Conrad Jupiter’s Art Prize , Gold Coast Art Gallery, Gold Coast
2002 The Ulrich Schubert Photography Prize, Gold Coast Art Gallery
2001 Conrad Jupiter’s Art Prize. Gold Coast Art Gallery
The National Australia Bank Private Bank Contemporary Art Prize, Thornquest Gallery, Gold Coast
Griffith University Tertiary Art Prize.
GRANTS, RESIDENCIES AND COMMISSIONS
2020 Regional Arts Development Fund, 'Barbra Streisand: local electronic artists at The Walls'
2019 Redgate Residency, Beijing
2018 Sam Rit Residency, Thailand
2017 Urban Oasis Public Art Commission Mentorship Program with Alex Pentek
2016 Shortlisted Finalist, Urban Oasis Public Art Commission, Gold Coast
Artist in Residence, Canon Hill Anglican College, Brisbane.
2015 Bundanon Residency, New South Wales
2014 Asialink Residency Youkobo Artspace, Japan
2013 Bundanon Residency, New South Wales
Fish Lane Residency, IAmProjects, Fox Hotel, Brisbane
2012 Regional Galleries Association of Queensland Bursary
2010 Australia Council for the Arts New Work Grant
2009 Australia Council Kunstlerhaus Bethanian Residency shortlist
2008 Arts Queensland Development and Presentation Grant
Brisbane City Council Creative Sparks Grant
2007 Artworkers Alliance and the State Library of Queensland Interactive new Media Project and Residency
Arts Queensland Project Grant
2006 Transit-Lounge Residency, Berlin
2005 Shandong College of Art and Design Residency and Cultural Exchange, China
Griffith University Postgraduate Scholarship
2003 Commission Five to Midnight, Queensland Performing Arts Complex
2013 Private Collection of Yannick Blatner
2012 Collection Gold Coast City Art Gallery
2011 Collection University of Queensland Art Museum
2004 Collection Gold Coast Art Gallery
2002 Collection Toowoomba Regional Art Gallery
2017 Sculpture 17 Public Program, Griffith University Queensland College of Art.
2016 Game Plan, The Walls Artspace, Miami
2012 Oh Video, Griffith University
2009 MSSR Exposure, Metro Arts, Brisbane
2008 The Orebro International Video Art Festival, Orebro, Sweden
2006-10 MSSR (Moreton Street Spare Room Project)
2004 Collidescope III, Swingin’ Safari Gold Coast
2003 Open for Inspection, Brisbane. Curator
Collidescope II,Gold Coast Art Gallery
2002 Collidescope, Gold Coast Art Gallery
The Transient Image, Queensland College of Art. Gold Coast Campus
2019 Queensland Art Teachers Association Annual Symposium Presentation: Video as process in art room contexts
Artist talk, Shelter + Storm (Future garden) BSA Project Space Mullumbimby
Artist talk, North Sydney Art Prize, North Sydney Centre for Sustainability
2018 DJ performance EveryBody Now, Bleach Headquarters, Gold Coast.
Panel moderator, Meet The Wavemakers: Chris Bennie, artist; Gerldine Barlow, Curator of International Art, QAGOMA; and Jordyn De Boer, Co-founder of Boomerang Bags. Gold Coast City Gallery
Artist talk, BVN Architects, Brisbane
Pre-selection judge Churchie Emerging Art Award
Guest Speaker, Lucida Conference, Sydney
External Assessor, Southern Cross University
Catalogue Essay/Interview for Rebecca Ross Making Arrangements Stable Art Space, Brisbane
Catalogue Essay/Interview for Hailey Atkins, Outer Space, Brisbane
Catalogue Essay Michelle Vine Surrogates for Human Touch Griffith University Project Space
Quick-fire Ecstasy, Ecstasy: baroque and beyond public program. University of Queensland Art Museum
No Lights No Lycra, Ecstasy: baroque and beyond public program. University of Queensland Art Museum
2017 Artist talk, Mood Swings, Pop Gallery, Woolloongabba, Brisbane
Artist talk, On Top, In Front, Gold Coast City Gallery
Swell Sculpture Festival Curatorial Committee
Guest speaker, Early Risers: women in business Breakfast, Gold Coast City Gallery
Pre-selection judge, The Elaine Bermingham National Watercolour Prize in Landscape Painting, Griffith University Webb Gallery
2016 The Walls Art Space Representative, High Rise Low Rise, Canberra Contemporary Art Space
Guest speaker, Making Meaning, St.Hilda’s Collegiate School, Gold Coast
Judge, Cartography, Church Anglican Grammer School student exhibition
Guest speaker, Home-show ARI presentation, Boxcopy, Brisbane
Curators talk, Game Plan, The Walls Artspace, Miami
Guest Speaker, Asialink Business Leaders Seminar
Judge Sand Safari Art Prize, Surfers Paradise Alliance, Gold Coast
2015 Judge, Border Art Prize, Gold Coast City Gallery
Respondent, 2970 Degrees Symposium, Gold Coast
Asialink Residency Recipient Talk, State Library of Queensland
Artist talk, Cutback: surfing through art, Gold Coast Art Gallery
Opening Speech, Cutback: surfing through art, Gold Coast Art Gallery
2014 Artist Talk, The Edge State Library of Queensland
If The Walls Could Talk, Fern Studio Floor: a cosmology, The Walls Contemporary Art Space, Miami, Queensland
Artist Talk, Fibro Coast, La Costa Motel, Balinga, Queensland
2013 Radio interview, HitzFM Morning Show with Billy Healy, Bundaberg
Artist talk, Grace and the Kissing Swans, Fish Lane Resdiency, Fox Hotel, Brisbane
Channel 10 The Project, Swell Sculpture Festival
Radio spot, Evenings with Rebecca Livingston ABC National
Radio spot, Breakfast with Bern Young ABC Coast FM
In conversation, Theo Shields, The Hold Artspace, Brisbane
2012 Panel member, Documenta 13: a critical panel discussion, the Glasshouse, Queensland University of Technology
Guest speaker, Australian National Capitol Artists (ANCA) Now Symposium, Canberra
Opening speech, 2012 Queensland College of Art Gold Coast Fine Art Graduate Show, Gold Coast Art Gallery
Presenter, Flying Arts Professional Development Forum
Panel chair, The Where and The When of Photography, Griffith University Art Gallery
2011 Panel member, Has The ARI Bubble Burst, Institute of Modern Art
Artist Talk, Queensland College of Art Photography Department
Judge, 2011 Ipswich Art Award
2010 Keynote Speaker Growing Your Practice, Bundaberg Regional Art Gallery
2008 Guest speaker, 2008 Hatched Symposium. Perth Institute of Contemporary Art
2005 Guest speaker, Institute of Digital Media Technology Shanghai Industry Development Forum, Jinan, China
Artist talk, 4 x 4, Griffith University Art Gallery
Artist Talk, Exercises in Freedom, State Library of Queensland
2014 Video as Art and Documentary, Raid Camp, Cairns
2013 Moving Images That Matter, Goodna State High School, Brisbane
2013 Floating Land, Boreen Point, Sunshine Coast
2012 IMA Art Teachers Day: Video Art and Mobile Devices, Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane
2011 Introduction to Film and media Projects, Roma, Queensland
2010 Creative Expressions: thoughts to Film, Blackwater International Coal Center, Blackwater, Queensland
2010 Basic Video Production, Moranbah, Queensland
2009 Sunday at the Gallery, Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane
PUBLICATIONS + ESSAYS
Alexander Kucharski The Citizen, Exhibition catalogue essay
Aaron Butt Work in the art of Gosia Wlodarczak, Dylan Jones and Chris Bennie
Miranda Hine Mood Swings, Exhibition Catalogue Essay
Virginia Rigney Mediating Legacies, RealTime May 2014
Dr Jess Berry A Zip on the Horizon, Exhibition Catalogue Essay
Dr Laini Burton Em File: Chris Bennie, Art Monthly Australia, May 2009 #219, Pp. 46
Peter Haynes Un-resettling by James Tylor and The Waves and Control Rooms by Chris Bennie: the old and the new. Sydney Morning Herald, 2015
Kylie Spear, Move, Exhibition Catalogue and Essay, 2013
Peter Robinson Artist Run Initiatives: the ins and outs, Artworker magazine, Issue 2 2008
Nicola Chatham A Storehouse of Experience. Exhibition catalogue essay
Anna Zammit, Tent Peg Exhibition catalogue essay
Clare Murphy Daring to disturb the universe: the contemplative video art of Christopher Bennie. Catalogue essay.
Carmen Ansaldo The General Will presents general will in Machine Magazine, Issue 5, vol 1. May-Jun 2006, Pp. 18
David Broker Name That Tune, Plus Factors exhibition catalogue
Danni Zuvela Where There’s Video There’s Love in Machine Magazine, Issue 1, Vol. 1. July-Aug 2005
Channel Nine News. December 2004. Conrad Jupiters Art Prize
Alasdair Foster Departure Lounge. Exhibition catalogue essay
Alison Kubler Savvy: New Australian Art. Exhibition catalogue essay
Phil Brown Look At Me, Brisbane News Aug 11-17 2004
Robert Cook Hatching the Future. The West Australian Weekend Extra. June 14 2003
2018– Exhibitions + Education Assistant, The Walls Art Space, Gold Coast.
2017 – 2018 Fixed-term Contract Griffith University Queensland College of Art.
2017 – Curatorial Selection Panel, Swell Sculpture Festival.
2016 – Queensland representative, Asialink’s Arts Residency Advisory Committee.
2016 – 2017 Sessional Lecturer, University of Canberra @ South Bank Tafe, Queensland.
2015 – Committee member, Gold Coast Council Regional Arts Development Fund
2015 – Board member, The Walls Art Space, Miami, Queensland.
2014 – 2015 Treasurer, The Walls Art Space, Miami, Queensland.
2009 – Sessional Lecturer, Griffith University Queensland College of Art.
2006 – University of Queensland Art Museum, Brisbane, Australia. Installation assistant.
2010 – Flying Arts, Artist on Tour.
2011 – 2013 Exhibitions and Public Programs Officer, Griffith University Art Gallery.
2005 – 2009 Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane, Australia. Installation assistant.
2003 – 2011 Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane, Australia. Installation assistant.
2005 – 2011 Museum Of Brisbane, Australia. Installation assistant.
2006 – 2009 State Library of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia. Installation assistant.
2011 Certificate Three in Electronic Music production. SAE Institute, Brisbane.
2010 Permaculture Design Certificate. Permaculture Research Institute, Melbourne.
2009 Doctorate of Visual Art. Queensland College of Art, Brisbane.
2002 Bachelor of Fine Art (Honours) First Class, Queensland College of Art, Gold Coast..
2001 Bachelor of Fine Art. Queensland College of Art, Gold Coast.
1997 Otago Polytechnic School of Fine Art, Dunedin, New Zealand.
Murphey, C. 2006. Daring to disturb the universe: the contemplative video work of Christopher Bennie. MSSR