Members clubs can be perceived as a symbol of wealth and exclusivity to outsiders, yet to insiders the club represents a home away from home. The way that these places are decorated and filled with ornaments speaks of personal history, but the commodity of membership is de-personalising.
Freeman Bentley seeks out these interiors, working hard to get permission to gain access as it is important to the work that she has experienced the spaces physically. Taking photographs the composition of her images begins through the eye of the camera lens. In the studio these photographs act as starting points and the processes of sketching, preparatory works, underpainting and painting act as steps beyond the photograph into a painterly realm that explores things that the camera does not see: the meaning, atmosphere and tension of these interiors and how they relate to a more internalized, psychological space of longing.
In all of Freeman Bentley’s work, she seeks to capture the complex dynamics, atmospheres, and emotional responses that different places engender. By depicting spaces that display an obvious lack or where a change of function has taken place, her paintings evoke a longing that may be personal or universal; a deep human desire for permanence in a world that shows signs of decay and wear.