Paper artist, Jaime Bennati examines a humans’ relationship with material consumption. By collecting and gathering materials that are often overlooked, she makes the viewer question the way we impact our environment. A large part of her work is based on processes and has begun to work on community-based projects. She creates three-dimensional forms that reference forms found in nature.
Her most recent work was completed while living in the city Goiânia, located in central Brazil where she collected and gathered bus tickets with an average of 200,000 discarded per day. The project resulted in a workshop with members of the community to engage in conversation about reusing materials along with the creation of paper sculptures and collages with this discarded material.
My most recent work I have created comes from my connection and fascination with the country Brazil. Through research, investigation and travel, I’ve begun to document some of these experiences and observations that were formed abroad and upon my return to the US over the last three years. This connection has formed as a result of my curiosity in better understanding my family’s history in the country.
The first body of work about Brazil titled, Conectado, was created in collaboration with artist May Wilson and in conjunction with the annual Viva Brasil dance party held at the Creative Alliance in Baltimore, Maryland. Conectado invites viewers to create a new visual identity of Rio by exploring the streets and interacting with the urban landscape. This kind of exploration is essential to the making of this work and these experiences are recreated for the viewer. Material choices reflect metaphors, connect deeper meaning and connect viewers to the streets of Brazil.
Parallel to my research is the investigation of my material. The second body of work I’ve begun called SitPass looks at the landscape, bus routes and designs found throughout the central city of Goiânia. The work was created with bus tickets that were collected from Goiânia’s central bus system. On average about 200,000 are discarded per day. The project resulted in a collection of paper sculptures and collages with this discarded material along with videos and photographs. In addition, a workshop was held and members of the community were invited to engage in conversation about reusing materials. Through my work I try to transform my materials in a way that makes the viewer question the way we impact our environment.
Through conversations with those native to Brazil, I quickly realized I have an amazing opportunity to give a voice to Brazil and share with those outside of their country. For me, it has become an obsession that has resulted in extended research and the continued effort to share Brazil with everyone I meet. My hopes are to continue this research through my blog www.vivabr.tumblr.com and through additional series of works.