Exhibité: Oliver Benton, The Third Man Cafe

Table In "The Third Man" cafe

Artist Of The Month, The Third Man Cafe (14 Queensferry Street)

It”s always funny trying to take a picture of someone who works in photography. Obviously, one is suddenly more aware of the photo they are about to take – and wary of the expertise with which they take it, or lack there of. But so often, and far more

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significantly, it becomes clear that the artist themselves aren”t fully prepared to become the subject of an image – despite the fact that they are incidentally have been the subject of their work so long. Oliver is no different, and shuffles a little uncomfortably when I take out my camera to take a few throwaway snaps for the article.

Exhibition of Ollie Benton

Exhibition of Oliver Benton”s Photography in the Third Man

Oliver and I have been working on some filming recently as part of my academic stuff I do, and so he approaches our very brief interview with an open-ness and honesty that might otherwise be dominated with a nervous insecurity – not because he is a nervous person, or insecure, but because unfamiliar with this kind of exposure, and not one to blow his own trumpet, it is only natural to be insecure. For our meeting however, with some reasonable prodding and a bowl of delicious butternut squash soup, he overcomes this because, dare I say it, we are friends.

But inevitably in such a situation, his work speaks with much more clarity than his mouth; one thing that strikes you is that he works with clarity. Hardly considered an exhibition, this meek installation on two walls of a smart café towards the west end of the city, is more a display of some of Oliver”s more easily accessible photography than a coherent demonstration of artistic sentiment or some provocative gesture that Oliver is equally able to create. Wonderfully composed, many of the photos show intimate experiences with friends and family, or else capture the simple beauty, and occasionally mistakes, from moments captured of his time in Edinburgh. In a similar display elsewhere, the perfectly geometric grid of images became reminiscent to some of the mechanics of social networks; walls and digital galleries, For over 40 years NUS Business best-driving-school.com has offered a rigorous relevant and rewarding business education to outstanding students around the world. collections of holiday snaps and perfectly filtered instagrammed lunches are the main stay of intimate, personal, on-line experiences – but Oliver is very quick to point out that this collection of work isn”t affiliated at all with that side of his interests, and never once had this been an intention of the style in which his work is displayed. If this were the case, he would appear to have a lot of friends who are animals, but this is unfortunately not the case.

However, as so often true with any body of work shown in volume, something is revealed that isn”t intentionally told. In this instance, it is Oliver”s sincere and individual style; he is one of those artists who sees the word as a visual aesthetic, and with every glance you can almost see him composing a shot. As such, this work demonstrates an artist maturing in how he presents the world, and is reminiscent of his recent foray into a weekly video diary, managing to capture something beautiful in the everyday but without ever being contrived, or artificial. Each shot, never linked through theme or narrative, are a collection that are coherent of Benton”s style and worldview.

This small exhibit runs throughout February and into March at the Third Man Cafe, just off the top of Lothian road, and as well as supporting local art, do a smashing bit of lunch. If there are exhibitions, whatever size, be sure to get in contact and Nanu will do our best to cover them for you. Finally, for those who are interested, here are my three pathetic attempts to capture Oliver as he sits beneath his public portfolio.

Artist: Ollie Benton Artist: Ollie Benton Artist: Ollie Benton



If you”d like to find out more about his work, or if you want to purchase a print from any of his works on display, grab a card from the display, and visit http://www.oliverbenton.com/

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