An Unravelled Tale of Genius: Benjamin Shine

Knowing Benjamin Shine simply as an artist, designer, and sculptor isn’t enough. There’s so much more to Shine that goes beyond his fabric sculpting skills portrayed in his stunning works of portraiture. With a closer look, here are 10 things you didn’t know about Benjamin Shine.

1. He’s a Pioneer in Tulle

Benjamin Shine is not just any artist; he is a pioneer in his specialty of tulle art. After years of experimenting with 3D shapes and unconventional techniques, he finally discovered a creative medium that few artists have ever ventured into before. He has single-handedly transformed tulle crafting into high art, creating captivating portraits using a single piece of tulle layer by layer to develop depth and precision.

The choice of tulle as a medium isn’t random either. Tulle’s transparency symbolizes the clear and transparent nature of each individual’s thoughts and emotions, as per his interpretation. This humility and willingness to experiment with a medium as unexplored as tulle is what sets Shine apart in the art industry.

2. Shine’s Clients Vary Widely

Shine’s unique artistry and craftsmanship have earned him a client base that spans from fashion industry magnates to music legends. He’s designed and constructed sculptural design works for renowned institutions and people including The MET in New York, The Crafts Council in the UK, and icons like Bergdorf Goodman and Sir Elton John.

The extent of his work goes beyond his tulle art pieces. He’s also explored branding, design, materials, and production, creating a diverse portfolio and a wide-ranging list of clients. His work often finds a place in galleries, commercial spaces, and private collections worldwide.

3. His Inspirations Are Diverse

Shine gets his inspiration from various fronts. He finds nature a constant source of wonder and fascination, fueling his creativity every time. The folds of mountain ranges, the ebb and flow of the ocean, the way the wind can seemingly “sculpt” sand dunes into intricate shapes – all of these provide Shine with never-ending ideas for his tulle masterpieces.

He also draws inspiration from his life experiences, personal emotions, and interactions with people. All his artworks mirror universal human conditions and emotions, making them highly relatable to anyone who views them.

4. His Works Reflect a Social Message

Shine’s pieces don’t only display outstanding technical ability and creative design, but also often carry a deep, meaningful message. For instance, his installation, “The Dance,” revolves around climate change and its alarming impact on coral reefs, depicting the devastating transformation of a flourishing ocean scene into barren, bleached coral landscapes.

In another of his notable pieces, “Meditation 1.1,” he crafts a contemplative face out of tulle, urging viewers to stop, think, and introspect amidst the hustle of modern life. Shine’s work goes beyond mere visual appeal, depicting broader narratives and stirring conversations on larger societal and global issues more effectively than words often can.

5. He Has a Background in Fashion

Shine graduated from the Surrey Institute of Art and Design and Central St Martins, London with a BA Hons degree in Fashion Design. He later went on to establish a fashion accessories label that caught the eye of Paul Smith and led to a worldwide product distribution.

This fashion background isn’t separate from his artistry; rather, it’s woven into it, with many of his pieces reflecting an element of fashion. His connection with fashion has been constant over the years, with him collaborating with fashion giants like Givenchy and continuing to create fashion-related art pieces.

6. He’s Experimented with Various Mediums

Though best known for his work with tulle, Shine’s creativity isn’t confined to fabric alone. He finds beauty in surprising places, working with unique materials from matchsticks to salvaged scrap metal. Each medium is chosen to serve a purpose; for example, matches represent unity in diversity, while scrap metal symbolizes a new life from the past.

These diverse material choices give a fresh perspective, urging viewers to reconsider their own concepts of value, beauty, and transformation. Seeing the ordinary transformed into something extraordinary is a common theme in Shine’s work, pushing us to reimagine our appreciation of the art world and everyday objects around us.

7. “Meditation 1.1”

“Meditation 1.1” is one of Shine’s most recent and most mesmerizing works. Displayed in the Canberra Centre in Australia, the 10-foot wide tulle portrait consists layer upon layer of fabric, showcasing his mastery of this complex medium. Light and shadow interplay to create a contemplative face, urging viewers to step back from the hustle and bustle and to think deeply about life and meditation.

This peace-inducing work brilliantly sums up Shine’s creative approach: the use of unconventional materials to create art that engages viewers physically, emotionally, and intellectually. The blend of technical expertise in this piece, the selection of tulle, the implementation of the material, all of it adds up to more than the sum of its parts.

8. His Collaborations are Unique

Shine’s collaborations are as unique as his artwork, varying from a ballet dancer to a mindfulness organization. He worked with dancer Sergei Polunin on a project combining dance, movement, and tulle artistry. The result was ‘Dance of Form’, a mesmerizing performance that allowed tulle to dance with the dancer, a captivating interplay of art and movement.

One of his most recent collaborations was with the mindfulness organization Smiling Mind, resulting in ‘The Calm Collective,’ an outdoor installation promoting mental wellbeing. This collaboration proved that art can be a medium to promote health and wellness, further widening Shine’s creative exploration and impact.

9. He’s a Speaker too

Not only a visual artist, Shine is also an articulate speaker. He has shared his creative insights on various global platforms, including a TED TALK in Sydney, where he captivated audiences by discussing his creative process and the deeper meaning behind his work. He has also spoken at the V&A Museum, Sotheby’s, and Miami Art Week.

He also actively engages in public speaking events to inspire young minds, sharing creative ideas and encouraging them to think outside the box. His eloquent speeches show his deep understanding of art and creativity and his passion for sharing his knowledge with the world.

10. He’s Won Multiple Awards

A testament to his extraordinary work, Shine has won numerous awards for his breathtaking tulle creations. His creative spirit, innovative techniques, and thoughtful narratives have earned him critical acclaim and recognition globally. His many accolades include the Red Dot Design Award, a nomination for the Arts Foundation’s Fellowship for Material Evolution and being featured in Time Magazine’s “100 Best Inventions”.

With each unique creation, Shine continues to push the boundaries of what’s possible with tulle, fabric, and unconventional materials, captivating audiences worldwide and cementing his reputation as a creative force to be reckoned with.

Now that you’ve learned more about this pioneering tulle artist, we hope you’ll appreciate his work with the understanding and insight it deserves. Below are a few helpful links to explore more about Benjamin Shine.

Benjamin Shine’s official website
Benjamin Shine’s Instagram
Benjamin Shine’s TED Talk
Benjamin Shine on Artsy