Grid Dish - Dail Behennah

Grid Dish, Dail Behennah, 1998. Image © Nick Moss

Object Details

Date of making
Date of acquisition
Basket making: peeling, drilling, threading
Brown willow, bell wire
D540mm x H125mm
Collection Number

Maker Details

Plymouth, Devon, England
Place Trained
London College of Furniture, London, City & Guilds Diploma in Creative Crafts – Basketry, Parts I & II, 1985 -1988; University of Kent, Kent, Postgraduate Diploma in Local History, 1979 -1982; University of Birmingham, Birmingham, BA Hons Geography, 1971
2 Kent Road, Bishopston, Bristol, BS7 9DN, England
Crafts Council Setting Up Grant,1990
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Dail Behennah studied basket making at the London College of Furniture, and quickly began experimenting with ways in which traditional techniques could be translated to make new and unexpected types of basket. Her work explores sculptural qualities as opposed to functional.

Alongside taking inspiration from architecture, boats, ceramics, jewellery and natural forms, Behennah’s work draws on the forms and work of artists such as Hungarian Victor Vasarely, the grids of Sol Lewitt and the Russian Constructivists and the strong overlapping and interlocking geometric shapes that signify the movement.

This dish is made from willow, the traditional material for making baskets in Britain. Behennah uses it in a completely new way to make constructed, rather than woven pieces. It not only clearly shows her interest in grids and fences, but the structure is left visible to show respect for the materials.

Most recently Behennah was commissioned by the Crafts Council to create new work for the basketry showcase at Origin: the London Craft Fair in 2009.

Read more about related loans and exhibitions

Matthew Turtle

“Dail Behennah’s compositions reveal a unique language of geometric forms and architectural aesthetics and have provided some of the most fascinating recent examples of innovative contemporary basketry.

The Grid Dish subtly showcases these attributes whilst foregrounding the larger scale ambition of her later achievements. The stacked willow arranged intricately in grids and contours subtly reveals the potential of the material while simultaneously demonstrating the depth of her making skill.

Meanwhile, the optical effects generated by moving round the piece demonstrate the intricacy of the structure and showcase Behennah’s highly individual sense of rhythm and movement.”

Matthew Turtle

Matthew Turtle, MA student of Curating Contemporary Design, Kingston University, London. Events Assistant, Crafts Council.

From the Archive

Grid Dish was amongst a selection of basket works from the Crafts Council Collection to tour with the 1999 'Interwoven' exhibition. © Crafts Council

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