She was born and raised in London but for the last 30 years have been in Bahrain, giving the Island 30 precious years of her life, and her beautiful paintings. Recently she has participated at the Art for the Soul exhibition at Bahrain Financial Harbor. BTW speaks to Gaye Bentham to know more about the artist and her life.
Tell us briefly about yourself: where you were born and raised, your educational background, etc.
I was born in London, UK and left at the age of 21 to travel – and haven’t been back since! I moved to Bahrain more than 30 years ago and am now proud to call this lovely country home.
Were you initiated into arts and painting during your childhood?
I was always drawn to art as a child and used to sketch and paint, but the harsh realities of earning a living soon obliterated all artistic aspirations.
Who has been your inspiration?
In photography, I love the work of Steve McCurry – an American photographer who took the iconic picture of the Afghani girl with green eyes that appeared on the cover of National Geographic. As a member of the National Geographic website, I have been inspired by all the amazing photography I have seen there.
Tell us about the significance of art in your life.
I have always loved all forms of art – painting (particularly the Surrealist artists), ballet, classical music, and literature but photography is a fairly recent passion, which developed when I retired and had the time to pursue creative outlets.
What have been the major challenges of your life so far?
Too many to mention! It was not easy becoming accepted as a photographer and I worked very hard at learning the art of photography before I felt I was able to exhibit my work.
Do you feel that a formal training is essential to pursue arts?
Absolutely not! Formal training is good as a tool to learn the technical aspects of the chosen field, but creativity is something that comes from within and cannot be taught. II know some amazing artists who have never had formal training.
Tell us about this live art performance and how you got involved with it.
This exhibition came about because I was kindly invited by Bahrain Financial Harbour to participate in their Art at the Harbour initiative. It is a collection of photos taken by me in Bahrain and on my travels to various other parts of the world.
Have you participated/held exhibitions in Bahrain or in any other place? Give us a list of the last few.
My last solo exhibition was at the InTouch Gallery at InTouch Clinic in Saar. I have also participated in exhibitions at Riwaq Art Space and Anamil.
What kind of help and support do you seek to help reach your goal?
Any support is good but appreciation is better! I have been very fortunate to have a lot of support and encouragement by the team at Bahrain Financial Harbour.
What is your message to the aspiring artists of Bahrain?
Just follow your dream. Creative expression is more important than commercial success but if you love what you do, chances are others will love it too – and the commercial success will follow.