Painter and Textile Artist Kim Bentley
“I try to capture the fun, the charm, the eccentricities of everyday life – be it on a beach in Cornwall, or a park or heath in London where I used to live."
Kim trained in fine art and textiles at London’s Goldsmiths’ College where for her degree show Kim made embroidered beach scenes, not that dissimilar from those she makes today, although perhaps more primitive.
Upon completing her degree she co-founded a textile design partnership, Bentley & Spens working in textiles for fashion, initially designing a range of men’s shirts. These were painted, employing techniques we had acquired in fabric painting and batik, and sold widely in New York stores and by Paul Smith in London.
In the 1990’s, commissions from interior designers led to a move into furnishing fabrics, sold in Libertys, London, Paris, Tokyo and New York, and archived by the V&A.
Collaborations with architects and interior designers in Japan led to a return to fashion in an extraordinary east- west commission from Kawashima to design textiles for a range of Yukata ( summer Kimonos). The commission was unexpectedly to last for seven years and result in seventy seven designs!
Kim's current work is a combination of the natural world and the intimacy of people’s lives. Scenes inspired by her daily walking trips along the coast with my dog, Asta.
"It never ceases to amaze me how the skies and seas change daily, and so fundamentally." No two walks are alike, providing Kim with an inexhaustible supply of material." She never tires of people watching and taking in the views.
Kim has always enjoyed the freedom of drawing and painting directly on to fabric. Kim is also fortunate to be at ease with sewing, thereby providing her with the perfect combination of painting and embroidery.
In a roundabout sort of way Kim's work today is a logical progression from where she started - whilst incorporating everything she has done in between…