Collectively, Sharon Bennett and Dan McDermott have 30 years experience as professional artists.
Their first collaborative project, the participatory installation Twenty Years, was presented at Aspex Gallery, Portsmouth in June 2019. They were shortlisted for Best Visual Artist at the 2019 Portsmouth Guide Awards. They have recently received an Arts Council Project Grant to tour Twenty Years to a number of UK venues.
Bennett & McDermott both have individual practices that feed into the collaboration.
Working with community groups, artists or family and friends Sharon Bennett blurs the boundaries between the positions of artist, artwork and audience. Bennett has worked with Aspex Gallery, Portsmouth on a number of projects including being artist in residence in 2018 and 2019. Bennett is co-founder of artist duo The Women’s Art Activation System (WAAS). Their performance A Visit by the Officials of the Bureau for the Validation of Art, was presented at Social Works?: Live commissioned by Axisweb, at Grace Exhibition Space in New York City via live stream during the COVID-19 lockdown and will be performed as part of the Offbeat Festival at The Old Fire Station, Oxford in June 2021. The WAAS were recently awarded a Lottery Community Fund grant to present their project The Baby Makers and are one of six artists commissioned by Axisweb, Manchester Metropolitan University and Social Art Network for their 2021 Social Art for Equality Diversity and Inclusion research project. Bennett has been interviewed by a-n for their Artist Parent Resource series
Dan McDermott is an experienced artist working primarily in painting and printmaking. His works have been placed in private and corporate art collections worldwide. He has had numerous solo exhibitions, has been included in over 60 group shows and international art fairs and is currently represented by Alon Zakaim Fine Art.
Bennett and McDermott are based in Stroud, Gloucestershire where they live with their two daughters. They were shortlisted for the Best Visual Artist award at the Portsmouth Guide Awards 2019 for their project Twenty Years.
Our collaboration as a new way to practice art, no longer separate, but as a duo, have a numbers of ideas or guiding principles that are emerging; they are:
We hope to embody these notions in what we do now and next.