New film explores Lewes artist’s technique

Lewes artist Tom Benjamin is the subject of a new film about his paintings of Sussex and Brighton.

Entitled ‘The Light and the Air’, the short film was was written and directed by Wilma de Jong who is also a lecturer at the University of Sussex.

The film is available to view a

Tom has been painting the local landscape for more than 20 years. He is a ‘plain air’ painter, setting up his easel outside and painting in front of the scene. His speciality is capturing the nuances of light and shade in the changing seasons.

The film explores his technique and approaches, and is timed to coincide with Tom’s solo exhibition at St Anne’s Galleries in Lewes.

The large exhibition of 35 paintings has been two years in preparation and features Brighton street scenes of The Steine, and the Laines, along with landscapes of Sussex around Plumpton, Glynde and Barcombe.

Art critic Julian Bell has written: “The scientific abstractions of ‘mass’ and ‘light’ become thrillingly immediate when you work on a canvas out of doors – especially if you plant your easel, as Benjamin often does, to face the Channel from England’s southern edge, addressing the way solid earth surrenders to liquid sea before evaporating altogether… Benjamin seeks out a poetry of atmosphere through a technique that proclaims how everything he is seeing is turning into oil paint.”

The St Anne’s Galleries exhibition, entitled ‘The Nowness of Everything’, runs from March 22-30, 10am-5pm Saturdays and Sundays, then Saturdays until April 12.