The Bentlif Open Art Prize 2015 – Event Review

Date: 14 March – 3 May

Location: Maidstone Museum & Bentlif Arts Gallery

Costs: Free

Description: The Bentlif Open Art Prize was an exhibition of art work that was made by local people of Maidstone, not one piece was like another.

A Note: I know that the exhibition started and closed quite awhile ago, but it’s only been recently that I thought of starting this blog, and although within my blog I hope to inspire you to go see, read, watch, or listen to some of the things that I have I feel like this blog is also going to be a way for me to re-live some great memories of things I’ve; seen, read, watched, or listened to.

My Thoughts On The Exhibition: I went to The Bentlif Open Art Prize as part of a project I was doing and to be honest I didn’t really expect to get anything out of it, but I thought I may as well do it for the purposes of my project. I was pleasantly surprised because it was so much better than I thought it was going to be, there were some absolutely beautiful works of art displayed and if I were rich I definitely would have bought some for my bedroom wall. The first time I went, I went with a friend, but it was so good I went a second time – and alone – to really appreciate it in a way you can’t do when you’re with someone else.

The exhibition really inspired me and it showed me all the beauty that there is in the world; beauty that sometimes we don’t notice until someone points it out to us, or that we get used to and over look as we get older. There were also some paintings that highlighted some of the bad stuff that there is in the world, but all paintings were beautiful and unique in their own way.

There were a few paintings that particularly stood out to me and although I don’t have pictures I have the power of words.

There was this beautiful painting by Kay Gretton called ‘Four Seasons’ and as you probably guessed it was a painting of all four seasons in a sequence and all painted in squares, every single season was very beautiful and some had signs of people and dogs and some didn’t. I think the reason it particularly stood out to me is because although sometimes we moan about the season; “it’s too hot!” or “it’s too cold!” I think it’s because we can’t see the season from an ‘outside’ perspective because we live on the inside, but once someone draws or paints that ‘outside’ perspective you see how beautiful nature is during all seasons and how differently beautiful every season is.

Another beautiful painting was by Mandy Broughton and it was called ‘Fisherman At Sunset’ and I remember this one for its detail, it had such a strong detail of the beach, the reflection of the sun on the water, the waves as they kissed the shore, and in the distance you could see this shadowed figure of a fisherman. It was so realistic it gave you the feeling of happiness and content you only get when on the beach. I feel like if you had this on your wall on a boring frustrating day of homework or office work then you would look up at the picture and for a moment forget all the trouble and stress and be completely peaceful.

I really wish I had started this blog sooner so you could have gone to the exhibition yourself and seen the beauty of all the art but it’s a yearly event, so if you live near the area or don’t mind the travel look out for next year’s Bentlif Open Arts Prize.

I didn’t only take away with me all the beautiful memories of the art that was on display but an appreciation for all art and a love for exhibitions and museums I had never had before, maybe it was the art or the way it was set up and presented within the museum or maybe a mixture of both but it was definitely a good use of my time and hey, I got a good blog post out of it, I hope!

My Favourite Part: Was seeing how people still consider making art a good use of one’s time even though there’s so much electronics and media that often distract people nowadays.