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Southsea Cinema News



Preview: 22nd July 2023, from 3pm to 5pm, open invitation to celebrate and support our local artist, with a chance to meet the artist, Donna Benton. 


‘When I draw, I completely switch off into my own world. I’m firstly attracted to strong emotions, either sadness, loneliness, anger, despondency, regret, and even happiness, recognising them through my own experiences. I find myself looking at people’s eyes, telling a story, what’s behind, I feel really pulled in to create a piece. For example, one of my drawings shows one man looking one way and a woman’s face looking across the other way. This piece is called “A Fleeting Connection” because to me, this was telling the story of two people who very briefly crossed paths, and then they go on their separate journeys. Another piece, a man with his eyes crossed out, called “ Unseen” is telling the world we can sometimes feel invisible, life going on around us without being noticed. Another piece, a lady crying with her mouth crossed out, I called it “Unheard”. I want the viewer to see there can be different reasons why people could feel silenced, maybe they feel unheard in a relationship. I wanted to resonate with the viewers according to whatever is going on in their life. 

I like using charcoal because I can draw either very detailed or more freestyle. It allows me to create textures with light and shading that reflect deep expression bringing those emotions on paper and to the viewer.

It’s not always when I start drawing that I know which way I’ll go and I find that very exciting. As I draw, I sometimes like to add a contemporary/abstract edge by adding some squares ‘jazzing it up’. (Benton, D., 2023). 

Artist Donna Benton grew up in Kingston Upon Thames and has been living in Southsea for four years. Her parents are very good artists in their own rights; her mother did amazing work using watercolours. Donna has always been surrounded by art but it wasn’t until later in life that she picked up a pencil. Two years ago she had a go at using charcoal and realising she could draw, she joined drawing and portrait classes at the Omega Art School in Portsmouth and The Spring Arts & Heritage Centre in Havant where she explored various mediums. Through these, her love and passion for portraits grew, developing her own style.

Benton’s Exhibition is a delight to experience. Her drawings seduce curiosity with an invitation to dive into her exquisite portraits of artists and strangers, and are on show at Southsea Community Cinema & Art Centre from the 22nd July to 12th August 2023 from 12:00 daily except Monday, free entry. Best to pop along to experience Donna’s sublime mark making. 

Email: donnabenton10@hotmail.co.uk

Facebook: @donnabenton_07

Instagram: @donna.benton.988711