Shadows of a Broken Earth – Samantha Pine Bennett


Shadows of a Broken Earth – Samantha Pine Bennett
Algoma University BFA Thesis Exhibition
April 16th – 19th, 2020
Opening reception: Online


Shadows of the Broken Earth

Where do memories remain hidden?
Smeared in darkness
Revealed only by the light of your self searching.
Faded flickering figments merge into massive encasing collages.
Churning, boiling into and over, smashing through the coldly erected walls.
Sinking, swirling, maybe, floating?
Into an embrace, gentle, yet impossibly distant.
Quiet raspy humming morphing into shrill jerking screams.
Too close, too close.
Sorrow and agitation tearing, ripping through.
Overwhelming every sense at a mere almost glimpse.
Fragmenting the already damaged projections, haunting the wooded floors.
Incomplete, no longer corporeal
Striding effortlessly
Like a phantom through memory.
Forcing us to uncover our painfully buried truths
Hidden in the shadows of ourselves
Jammed between the cracking layers of the broken earth.



Untitled-Install, Installation, Variable, 2019-2020.



‘Untitled-Install (details)’ , Installation, Variable dimensions, 2019-2020


My practice encompasses a variety of different media used in intermittent periods. Some of my favourite practices involve painting, printmaking, collage, and installation; for my current thesis work I chose to focus on photography and installation, intertwining the two into collaged and layered compositions. My discontented nature leads to impulsive experimentation and constant deviation of my intended course and continual improvisation along the way.

In the fall I began walking through the wooded paths adjacent to Algoma University. It was a welcomed escape from the semi-populated sidewalks of the university. These paths not only allowed me serene passage where I could meditate within myself; the paths themselves gave me an opportunity to gather “purposeful” junk. Which probably is a fair enough assessment, given that most people are not attracted to clumps of leaves, partial decomposed sticks, bits of fungus, and actual pieces of trash. This obscure connection I had with the discarded and displaced objections on the land fueled my desire to walk the trails and gather. Soon enough I was surrounded by bits of forests, dried foliage, and tabletops that were quickly running out of space. I thought most people would stop around this time, as I dragged a tree down  into the school’s basement studio.







Untitled, Digital Collage Series, Variable dimensions, 2020


Bio Excerpt

Being an Anishinaabe student while attending a university whose site is a former residential school, for whom my ancestor is the namesake, has been one of the realities I am trying to understand, yet I find it the most difficult to traverse. Being a person who would rather think about an emotion than feel it has created some tumultuous internal experiences The process of unveiling  hidden emotional layers has manifested in my work as layers; layers of paint, layers of photographs, and layers of light and shadow. The unveiling and concealing of the layers act as a physical manifestation of my emotional processing. The grounds of the school evoke an overwhelming surge of agitation, sorrow, and faint hope tied to my intergenerational trauma. My intention is to explore these themes  within my practice and within myself.


#47 Orange Shirt Day Excerpt

#47, Screen Print on t-shirt, September 2019

My design is meant to depict the resilience of survivors and our ability as a people to endure and adapt in the face of continual oppression. I would like to dedicate this design to my grandmother Louise Pine, a survivor of St. Joseph’s School in Spanish, Ontario, the survivors and families, and to the children who never embraced their families again after being forced from their homes.


Installation & Digital Collage Series / Photogram Series Excerpt

The installations recreate fragmented scenes as a reflection of my time traversing the trails and my thoughts, to invoke a sensation of memory related to a place that exists somewhere between reality (the trails) and my inner self. The installation’s use a fabric element that creates and unifies the backgrounds of my installations. My use of fabric is influenced by the intricate drapery seen throughout classical still life painting, both in texture and colour but also manifest to me as a metaphor of the blanket of flora and fauna that is the earth. I would like for the luscious textures to be inviting so that the  viewer and myself can be enveloped within. The light and various transparency sheets act as another layer of the installation, projecting photograph collages of the trails. The light also acts to reveal and conceal areas of the collage to create depth and space. My found objects are my focus when arranging material, to me they are the most intimate detail of my experience on the trails.While both of my collages series act as a two-dimensional  extension of my installation. The images act to create windows into the abstract landscapes of my mind, distancing the viewer from yet again from myself. The landscapes are reflective of my time of the land and my emotional states.










Untitled, Photogram Collage, Variable dimensions, 2020.


Found Objects Excerpt

“This obscure connection I have with the discarded and displaced objections on the land fuelled my desire to walk the trails and gather.”

Nearly all the objects that were collected and used for Shadows of the Broken Earth were found on the grounds of Algoma University. Primarily within a wooded section of trails along the edge of the campus.