Interview with Dail Behennah, contemporary basketweaver
Dail Behennah began working as a contemporary basketmaker in 1990, making constructed rather than woven, sculptural objects.
Recently she has undertaken larger scale work which is less related to basketry but can be seen as a logical development when viewed in the context of her work as a whole.
She has exhibited at major galleries throughout Britain and the USA and her work is in many public collections including: The Crafts Council, the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge and Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery.
Did you undertake formal training in college or within the industry, or did you find your way into crafts via a different route?
I have a degree in Geography which informs my work. I took a part time City & Guilds Diploma in Basketry, Parts 1 and 2, at the London College of Furniture which I completed in 1988.
How would you describe your work and your position within the crafts world?
My work fits uneasily within the framework 'contemporary basketry' but has been inspired by my training in that discipline, and I often use basketry materials and employ the vessel form.
I have devised most of my techniques myself and I like the structure to be visible and honest, showing a respect for the materials. My recent work is increasingly abstract and is a response to landscape and environmental concerns.
I find that there is something very satisfying about pure geometric forms and I often use grids. I am interested in the effects of light and shadow as well as the visual interference as the layers of grids move into and out of view. I always try to make my work appear calm.