Heather Benning







Visual Artist






Heather Benning currently lives and works between rural Saskatchewan and Regina. She completed a bachelor of fine arts degree from Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in 2004, and a master of sculpture at Edinburgh College of Art in 2009. Between her degrees, Benning returned to Saskatchewan, where she completed several large-scale, site-specific installations. She has had numerous solo and group shows throughout Canada (Nova Scotia, Manitoba and Saskatchewan, Ontario) and abroad (United States, Spain, Germany, Scotland, England and France). Heather’s work has been reviewed in Canadian Art magazine (Spring 2005, 2011), Sculpture magazine (Spring 2008), Galleries West (2009), Espace (Winter 2009/2010) and Uppercase Magazine (Issue 8) Studio Magazine, The Nation Post, etc.




The Dollhouse Before




The Dollhouse  – Dusk







The Dollhouse  – Kitchen Reflection




Bread, Water


From the well to the porch, the nervous rasp

of boots when snow is clenched tight as glass.


Water to do the day’s washing and baking. Look in.

If you can see yourself inside the pocked metal pail,


you understand – water shows you

who and where you are:


faint stars; moon, a pearl

of salt down your brow.


Words, like water, are shaped by gravity if

you can think of gravity as another way of saying


memory. Just as river wearing an elbow-worn coat

of last season’s shells and leaves, makes its way


to the ocean, bread is this woman,

before dawn, making enough


for the week. Is the ripple of her

muscles kneading the belly of dough.


Sigh of yeast as she folds each loaf.

Poplar-snap in the wood-stove. Steam melting


fronds of window-frost. Aerial-

pitch of stars, pearl-of-sweat-


moon. The word bread,

an estuary. Where tide gathers


river, an old friend, into its arms, pulls it

into heave and the familiar smell of salt.

Bread. Welcome.



Poem by Sheri Benning







The Dollhouse  – Telephone Detail




The Dollhouse  – Fire






Driving home from Uncle Richard’s,

in the backseat with my brother and sister –

weft of limbs, pearlescence of moonlit skin,

shift and fall of their breath.


My face against the car window to watch stars, and every mile

a farm, yard-lights,

a voice in plainsong –


after feeding the cattle, Dave Saretsky stepping into his porch,

borscht warming on the stove,

hambone, pepper, cloves.

She’s tucking in their youngest boy,

her palm on his feverish cheek.

After, she and Dave will sleep, in the space their bodies have learned

to make from years of sharing

blood, spit, loam –


Blink of frost on wheat stalks, fields left in stubble to snare

October’s first snow-squall, the tip of dad’s cigarette,

knots of smoke, mother singing lowly to the radio,

the gypsy-light of stars and farms,

a raw harmony


like the dark wave of geese lifting off the slough just east of our barns.

Their winter homing, a folksong for the journey

to where flesh might belong.


Our farm’s sold. Dave’s too. Uncle Richard died seventeen years ago,

and only now the light of this memory reaches me; its source, gone.



Poem by: Sheri Benning




In Studio




Field Doll near Qu’appelle Valley







Field Doll in Ottawa







Kitchen Window




That song that goes 


For no reason I can name

I look away from the book and see

the moon deepen into golds and reds.

Eastern sky a sodden blue. Spring

dusk is something to breathe deeply –

wet dirt, stubble, last year’s leaves.

And like a dream that comes back

only when unasked for, I recall

his hands from when I was a child –

rough wood, tobacco, metal of earth.

A friend tells me of early grey mornings

at his kitchen table. There was tea,

the beginnings of a wood-fire, his wife,

bread. And the winter river-bed, the long,

slow ache I carry inside, briefly fills

with the singing of Spring melt.

Memory is that song the heart hums

along with. The one without

thinking, beneath breath.



Poem by Sheri Benning




Working on the hand




The Marysburg Project: Watching Woman






Norfolk Arts Centre, 2014.

University of Regina (sculpture department) Sept. – September 2013-2014

Ken Lum’s Master Class, Banff Centre of the Arts.  Banff, Alberta.  2012

MFA major in Sculpture, Edinburgh College of Art,  Scotland, 2007- 2009.

New Works Residency, Banff Centre of the Arts.  Banff, Alberta.  2006

BFA major in Sculpture, Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, 2002 – 2004.

University of Regina, Fine Art Program, 2000 – 2002.



Solo Exhibitions



Kiln Hand, Norfolk Arts Centre (off-site installation) August, 2014

Field Doll & Death of The Dollhouse, Kohler Arts Center, Wisconsin, Sept 2014

Work Hard, Be Nice, Estevan Art Gallery, Estevan, Saskatchewan , October 2014


Field Doll (installation) Karsh-Masson & City Hall Art Galleries, Ottawa, Ontario – Jan/Feb 2013


The Dollhouse, (Photographic documentation) The Telephone Booth Gallery, Spring 2012


Field Doll (installation) Profiles Public Art Gallery, St. Albert, Alberta – Summer 2011.


Field Doll (installation) Dunlop Art Gallery, Regina, Saskatchewan –  Spring 2009.

Tour of Downtime (installation) sponsored by the Mendel Art Gallery:

The Godfrey Dean Art Gallery, Yorkton, Saskatchewan – Spring 2009.

The Bar Colony Heritage Cultural Centre, Lloydminster – Summer 2009.


Downtime, (installation) Art Gallery of Southwester Manitoba (AGSM), Brandon, Manitoba.

Dollhouse, (site-specific installation) Sinclair, Manitoba.


Downtime, (installation) AKA Gallery, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.


The Marysburg Project: Watching Woman, (site-specific installation) Marysburg, Saskatchewan.

Health & Safety Meeting Meets at 5 on Friday, (site-specific installation) Split Crow Pub, Halifax, Nova Scotia.


In Between, (installation) Anna Leonowens Gallery, Halifax, Nova Scotia.

In the North, (paintings) Eagle Point Resort, LaRonge, Saskatchewan.


In the North, (paintings) Birch Bark Gallery, Missinippi, Saskatchewan.

World as Lines, (painting and installation) St. Peter’s Gallery, Muenster, Saskatchewan.



Group Exhibitions



You are Here: Location + Similitude, Slate Gallery, Feb-March.  Regina.


Long Gone Saskatchewan, Page and Strange Gallery, April

The Alter (showing in group show: They Made a Day be a Day There – curator Amy Fung), The Prairie Art Gallery, Grand Prairie, Alberta.

The Alter (showing in group show: Isolated – curator Amy Fung), The Mendel Art Gallery, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

The Alter (showing in group show: Isolated – curator Amy Fung), Manitoba – location TBA


Dollhouse (photo documentation) Breaking and Entering, ArtLab Gallery, Ontario.


Dollhouse (photo documentation), Mini maousse 4, Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine, Paris, France.

All Safety Gone (sculptural installation), KIC.  Nord Art 2010, Büdelsdorf, Germany.


In Essence, Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba.

Basement Projects, Fred Gallery, London, UK.


Something to Answer For, Wiensowski und Harbord Gallery, Berlin, Germany.

Interim Show, GRV, Edinburgh, UK.

Windblown/Rafales (installation), Knowhere Productions, Pontiex, Saskatchewan.

Made in the West (photos of installation Dollhouse), Arthouse, Calgary, Alberta.

Made in the West (photos of installation Dollhouse), The Works, Edmonton, Alberta.


Open, Corn Exchange Gallery, Leith, UK.

RSA Student Exhibition, Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh, UK.


Crossfirings, (installation: Yardsite), Knowhere Productions, Claybanks Brick Factory, Claybanks, Saskatchewan.



Awards, Grants and Scholarships


Project Grant, Canada Council for the Arts, 2013

Established Artist grant, Saskatchewan Arts Board, 2012

Banff Centre of the Arts, Ken Lums Master Class residency, Scholarship, 2012

30 Below, Saskatchewan Lieutenant Governor’s Award, 2010.

London International Creative Competition (LICC), Finalist for Sculpture: All Safety Gone, 2010.

London International Creative Competition (LICC), Finalist for Installation: Field Doll, 2010.

Nominated for the Sobeys Art Award, Long List 2010.

Merit Award for outstanding work, Edinburgh College of Art – School of Sculpture MFA, 2009.

Canada Council for the Arts, Professional Development Grant, 2009.

Edinburgh College of Art, International Student Scholarship, 2008.

Merit Award for outstanding work, Edinburgh College of Art – School of Sculpture, 2008.

Emerging Artist grant, Saskatchewan Arts Board, 2008.

Project Grant, Saskatchewan Arts Board, 2008.

Edinburgh College of Art, International Student Scholarship, 2007.

Banff Centre of the Arts, New Works Residency, Scholarship, 2006.

Saskatchewan Arts Board, Emerging Artist Grant, 2006.

Imperial Tobacco Ltd., DuMaurier Grant, 2004.

Saskatchewan Arts Board, Publishing Grant, 2002 – 2005



Selected Articles / Reviews / Websites/Publications


“The Death of the Dollhouse: Front Smoke” (working title) Detail.  BlackFlash

Magazine, Issue 30.2, 2013

“The Dollhouse,” “Field Doll,” Room Magazine, issue 36.4.  Cover and 4 interior


“The Dollhouse”  ERA21 o architektuře víc!:  #03 2013 Krajiny her Playscapes,

Czech Republic, 2013

“Worlds Largest Dollhouse Gutted in Fire by Artist Who Created it”, The National Post, April 9th, 2013

“What We’re Loving: Giant Dollhouse, Literary Art, Sade” theparisreview.org.  The Paris Review Daily, June 29th, 2012

“Abandoned House Turned Gigantic Dollhouse By Heather Benning” juxtapoz.com.  July 5th, 2012.

“The Art Has a Soul From Heather Benning” cultro.eu.  July 9th, 2012

Hartley-Parkinson, Richard.   “Ever wished you could live like Barbie? Artist turns derelict building into a life-sized dolls house with a huge wall of glass”  dailymail.co.uk.  June 13th 2012

Lowe, Jack.  “Life Sized Doll’s House by Heather Benning” huhmagazine.co.uk. August 2012

“La maison de poupées géante de Heather Benning” lalunemauve.fr.  July 18th, 2012

“Dollhouse Par Heather Benning” jurnal-du-design.fr.  July 11th, 2012

Lorenzana, Belinda“La granja que Heather Benning convirtió en casa de muñecas”  monkeyzen.com.  July 3rd 2012

McDonald, Maggie « Outstanding in Her Field ».  This Magazine.  (January/February 2012)

McDonald, Rob.  « The Dollhouse ».  Sixth Finch. (Summer 2011)

Mceachen, Beth.  « Breaking and Entering: Haunted Houses ». Canadian Art. (Spring 2011)

Soucy, Rachelle.  “Heather Benning – Dollhouse.” Uppercase Magazine. Issue 8.

Beatty, Gregory C. “Heather Benning – Field Doll.” Espace 90. (Winter 2009-10).

Markle, Andrew “What’s Left Behind.” Galleries West.  (Summer 2009).

Wlusek, Ola “Field Doll.” Things of Desire. (Spring 2009).

Fetherson, Erin.  “Dollhouse.” Lula, London UK. 7(February 2009).

Benning, Sheri.   “Dollhouse.” PN Review, Manchester, UK, 183(July-August 2008).

Potter, Naomi.  “Review, Sinclair, Canada:  Heather Benning.” Sculpture Magazine. (March 2008).

Benning, Sheri.  “Dollhouse.”  Canadian Theatre Review. 133(Winter 2008).

Rooke, Charlene.  “The Dollhouse.”  Western Living Magazine. (October 2007).

Sylvester, Kevin.  “Sounds like Canada:  Dollhouse”.  CBC National. June 22nd, 2007.

Robson, Fletcher, “Dollhouse Stands Frozen in Time.” Winnipeg Free Press. 11 June  2007.

Thompson, Ryan, “You Get What You Give:  Dollhouse,” Art Anteism. http://www.anteism.com/images/ygwyg, 2007.

Millard, Karen, Herstory: The Canadian Woman’s Calendar 2007 – The Marysburg Project:  Watching Woman. Regina, Saskatchewan: Coteau Books, 2007.

Robson, Brittany, “In the Arts:  Downtime,” CBC Television, October 2006.

Kiedrowski, Ryan, “Rewind: Heather Benning.” Canadian Art. (Spring 2005).

The Marysburg Project: Watching Woman.” Halifax Daily News Review. 30 September 2004.



Selected Presentations – Artist Talks


Art Gallery of Grand Prairie, Grand Prairie, Alberta.  June, 2013

Buffalo State University, Buffalo, New York.  April 12, 2013

William Pattersen University, New Jersey, April 16th, 2013 “Surviving After Grad School”

Ramapo College, New Jersey, April 18th, 2013.

Art Gallery of St. Albert, St. Albert, Alberta.  2011

Dunlop Art Gallery, Regina, Saskatchewan, Field Doll, 2009.

Dunlop Art Gallery, Regina, Saskatchewan, Unscripted:  A harvest of Cultural Ideas…The Prairie Gothic, 2008.

Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba, Brandon, Manitoba, Downtime, 2007.

AKA Gallery, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Downtime, 2006.

University of Regina, Regina, Saskatchewan, Sculpture Department, 2006.

University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Intro to Sculpture, 2005.

Knowhere Productions, Avonlea & Biarcrest, Saskatchewan, Crossfirings Site Specific Art, 2005.

Regina City Hall, Regina, Saskatchewan, City of Regina Cultural Capital of Canada Closing Ceremonies, July 6, 2005.





Bernard A. Zuckerman Museum of Art, Kennesaw State University

Saskatchewan Arts Board

Canada Council for the Arts – Art Bank




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