Beverley Bennett is an artist-filmmaker whose work revolves around the possibilities of drawing, performance and collaborative experiments with sound.
Her practice connects multiple ways of making. The first of these is a concern with the importance of sound in art. The second is an investigation of the idea of The Archive.
She often begins projects by creating/adding to her extensive personal archives of interviews, using them for preliminary research and experimentation and the third is collaboration. This is frequently through socially political work with other creative and fine artists, community members, young children and their families.
In November 2020 Peckham Platform commissioned Bennett as part of Tilting the Mirror, a three-year project led by The Peckham Partnership that seeks to ‘tilt the mirror’ on negative perceptions of Peckham by platforming those who often struggle to be heard in the process of regeneration.
Bennett’s Yuh Figet Yuhself is the first artistic commission from The Peckham Partnership and is a creative programme co-led by the artist and an intergenerational group of Peckham residents. Yuh Figet Yuhself draws on the ability of language and shared diasporic heritage to reconnect and support those experiencing displacement or social estrangement.
Working remotely over the course of 10 weeks, the artist with members of the Golden Oldies, Leaders of Tomorrow and Peckham Park Baptist Church Youth Group created a programme, an artwork and an archive formed of sound, precious metal, ceramics and audio. Embedded within this artistic programme are practical contributions such as care parcels containing hot meals delivered by volunteers, data bundles, craft supplies, and access to therapy and mentoring for participants.
“Jamaican patois or Jamaican Creole is direct and I am constantly fascinated with its power to leave you with a sting.”
Artist Beverley Bennett
The programme takes its title from a conversation that Bennett had with an older friend. Speaking out of tone, the artist was met with the reply “Yuh Figet Yuhself!”. The statement was made in jest but served as a reminder that she had literally and figuratively forgotten herself. Double meaning is a constant feature in Caribbean patois and its roots in Africa based in Wolof, Igbo/Ibo, Mbunda, Ga and Twi provide foundations that become “remixed” through speech.