It’s tour time again!
Over the past 8 months, Unexpected Philadelphia has taken you to 8 inspiring, art-filled homes belonging to the Philadelphia Dumpster Divers – that warm and wacky band of artists and collectors who exhibit, socialize and produce witty, up-cycled art together.
Today we’re heading to the home and studio of Ellen Benson, sister of Divers’ co-founder Neil Benson, whose house we’ve already visited.
(Ellen in her living room with what she modestly calls “The Wall”.
About a third of the work is hers; the rest hails from around the globe.)
Ellen has always collected art, fiber and handmade crafts on her travels.
(Ellen’s art-filled sun porch showcases fabric she collected in Mexico,
Guatemala, Turkey, Israel and Uzbekistan.)
But, at age 55, she made three radical life changes: She retired from her banking career, she married for the first time – and she began a whole new life as a collage and found-object artist.
(Ellen’s Diva figures incorporate a dazzling array of found objects – from buttons,
broken jewelry, and game pieces, to kitchen utensils, sewing tools, and printed tins.)
Her work has appeared in magazines, a book, and in dozens of exhibits, from Oregon and Chicago to Brooklyn and Philadelphia’s International Airport, where she was awarded a solo show.
(Whether constructing a found-object mask on a baseball glove, or a painted and embellished collage, Ellen is particularly drawn to human and animal faces.)
THE TOUR STARTS HERE
So click this link to our Unexpected Philadelphia website to tour Ellen’s predictably “unexpected” home in Philadelphia’s Mount Airy section….
(The dining room features a unique chandelier made by fellow Dumpster
Diver Ellen Sall, using objects gathered by both Ellens.)
…and to visit her sun-filled studio in Manayunk….
(Ellen is over halfway to her goal of constructing 1,000 Diva figures.
She envisions them as “a family, a friendship circle, a tribe.”)
And, when you arrive at our website, be sure to click on any thumbnail photo to see a much larger version. (You can scroll through the larger photos using the arrows at the bottom of the screen.) Each large photo also comes with a scrollable caption that shows on non-mobile devices like laptops or desktop computers.
(Ellen’s memory vessels celebrate everything from travel, to toys, to motherhood.)
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(The artist in her studio….)
Kate & Dave