Joshua Edward Bennett’s unique and bold fabricated objects are born out a personal longing to assign a visual and spatial aesthetic to existential imaginations surrounding his own sense of spirituality. Bennett takes a measured focus on creating physical objects through digital technologies and places them amid immersive and intentional 4D environments with light, sound, smell, and more, complete with highly designed elements including furniture, printed literature, and wearable merchandise. His assemblages are composed of shapes within a limited color palette made from acrylic, foams, wood products, metals, and other materials typically linked with sign-making. The objects evoke ancient, current, and futuristic aesthetics associated with machines and architecture, all while presenting deeply human qualities. The environments are calibrated sensory sanctuaries.
Though he is not a religious person as it pertains to established organized institutions, he feels a perpetual and indefinable force within that evades any empirical measure or truth. Like over a quarter of Americans (27%), Bennett identifies as "spiritual but not religious."¹ Evidently, there is a gradual trend of withdrawal from organized religious institutions. Perhaps it is because of their problematic histories of violent colonialism and cultural erasure. The migration could be a resistance to contemporary salacious scandals or extreme terrorism. Maybe for some, these religions simply operate under an outdated model. Many are seeking alternatives for spiritual fulfilment. A persistent value in all of Bennett’s highly designed sculptural works and installations is the acknowledgement of spiritual potential within all people. Bennett has faith in the power of unity. His art is a celebration of what all people have in common: their spirit.
1. Lipka, Michael, Claire Gecewicz, Michael Lipka, and Claire Gecewicz. "More Americans Now Say They're Spiritual but Not Religious." Pew Research Center. September 06, 2017. Accessed March 21, 2019. https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/09/06/more-americans-now-say-theyre-spiritual-but-not-religious/.
© 2020 by JOSHUA EDWARD BENNETT