Tat Meet's Amata Benedict
Photography by Jasper Fry
8th September 2023
The candidates for Tat Meets usually conjure up feelings of jealousy and awe. No two people have raised both sensations to the surface quicker than the artistic partnership Amata Benedict. When I first came across their work, I believed it was one superhuman polymath developing a host of work in different mediums that would make most people drop their jaws in astonishment. Thankfully, my fears were slightly allayed when I found out that it was two people behind this terrific portfolio. The mystique of this partnership made my curiosity insatiable, which in turn made them the perfect interviewees for Tat Meets.
Could you give us some background on how you met and decided to work together?
We met at school, so we have known each other for a long time. We reunited much later by working together over many years at Fiorini, an art bronze foundry in London. We always dreamed of setting up a studio in the style of a Renaissance bottega, where anything and everything could be created.
How would you describe the style of your work?
The style plays on the past, but at the same time, we try to make each piece our own. Each medium requires a different approach, so defining an overarching style for us is hard! However, the idea is to create works that comprise a variety of techniques, materials and approaches including deconstructing and reassembling found furniture, cutting and stitching used textiles or fabricating metal sculpture from the leftovers of past projects, making new pieces that already possess a certain history of their own therefore allowing a layering of narrative. Like an archeologist, the idea is to reconstruct an interpretation of the past that is both personal, often biographical, but hopefully, at the same time, ubiquitous to all of us.
What monuments, works of art, and relics do you take inspiration from? (I know there will be many, but perhaps something you find yourselves going back to, a book or period in history?)
Works that inspire us can be plucked from any part of the vast history of art and culture, from the earliest mother goddess figurines created to the punk DIY culture and anything in between. Our favourite aesthetic is when the ancient and the modern meld together. Like an eclectic art collector, the idea is to build a body of work around what takes our fancy, be it a pre-Columbian textile or a medieval piece of armour. Ben Heller’s New York apartment or Cy Twombly’s Rome residence come to mind. Places that created their own atmosphere by allowing the contradictions of the old and the new to form a relationship of a multi-cultural identity.
When did you open the gallery in Southfields?
We started the process at the beginning of 2020. However, the space existed as a framers long before that, so it was an opportunity to slowly turn the space into a workshop capable of making various pieces with a showroom/gallery to curate the work.