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For a girl her age, the resume keeps building. Eleanor Leonne Bennett is a 16 year old photographer and artist who have won contests with National Geographic, The Woodland Trust, The World Photography Organisation, Winstons Wish, Papworth Trust, Mencap, Big Issue, Wrexham science, Fennel and Fern and Nature’s Best Photography. She is the youngest artist to be displayed in Charnwood Art’s Vision 09 Exhibition and New Mill’s Artlounge Dark Colours Exhibition.
She has had her photographs published in exhibitions and magazines across the world including the Guardian, RSPB Birds, RSPB Bird Life, Dot Dot Dash, Alabama Coast, Alabama Seaport and NG Kids Magazine. She was also the only person from the UK to have her work displayed in the National Geographic and Airbus run See The Bigger Picture global exhibition tour with the United Nations International Year Of Biodiversity 2010.Only visual artist published in the Taj Mahal Review June 2011.
For a girl her age, it is amazing what she’s achieved. Going through an email sent by her, I remember being confused as to whether 16 years was her real age, or a typographical error. British born and Stockport based Eleanor best describes the reaction given her most times by magazine editors as regards being young and with so many accolades, “Quite a few editors have thought with my accolades that I’ve been photographing for 16 years and that is not actually my age.”
It becomes more amazing knowing that Eleanor was self taught. “There aren’t any artists in my family which can feel a bit lonely.” The only family member that shares the love for the Arts with her is her granddad. Residing in France, he was a producer for the BBC and is a writer. “He always wanted to be a photographer,” she says.
For some time, Eleanor managed her talent by being her own role model. Only when she met Reza Deghati and received a day mentorship did it register in her that her photographs needed to always mean something. “After seeing his work I know my photography needs to convey messages; it has to mean something.” Now, in her photographs are images of her being pushed down stairs, left out in the cold, sleeping in ruined rooms, and riding in battered cars.
With a common theme in her photographs being crime, abuse, destruction and health, Eleanor takes effort in sharing this message with her audience. “I search for calls for submissions and make contacts with publishers and editors.”
A stickler for hard work, for someone her age, Eleanor each morning wakes up at 4am “to keep in check with my deadlines”, and hardly gets breaks. She assures herself of working now so as to rest – but not retire – early. “I can see myself finally resting and chilling out in my 40s when I’ve finally made some money and can take a break.” Considered just starting, Eleanor looks forward to seeing the artist she’ll become, “creating art in my 70’s”.
See Photographs HERE
Read Interview Here