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The Toast-man is back.

Hope on Toast - an exhibition by Maurice Bennett (aka The Toast-man)

Where: Deluxe Café. 10 Kent Terrace Wellington (beside Embassy Theatre)
When: 19 January – 2 February 2014

The Toast-man is back. This time with an exhibition born out of his recent battle with cancer. ‘Hope on Toast’ is a new direction for Maurice Bennett who is better known for his use of slices of toast to create large pixelated images of famous people.

This time he has channelled his passion for toast to paper as well as pieces of actual toast. Some of the works were created using ink impressions of various slices of toast as well as actual toast pieces that have been preserved in polyurethane.

His battle with Cancer proved to be the catalyst for this exhibition. It was his way of working through the battle and he felt the need to create something was a major therapeutic part of his journey through the illness.

“I wanted to tell and show people you can get better and you can overcome the big C. This was for me an aid to my recovery,” he said.
“The inspiration for ‘Toast Faces’ happened because I was delusional from the side effects of the various drugs and while I have very little recall of these times, I do have a recurring image in my head of people steering at me through the darkness, each having a distorted face.”

By creating a toast work of this horror, he wanted to put the nightmare to sleep and hoped that by working it out physically it would put it out of his mind.
After many attempts to create something, he came up with child-like faces, which were made by simply putting holes in the toast with one’s finger.

”I feel that they show something of the horror that I experienced with their distorted grins, and peering eyes, while at the same time they are playful and funny,” Mr Bennett said.
The “Care, Love and Hope” series of work represent much of feelings that others had for him. Within words he hoped to represent the emotions of his journey: -family, friends, doctors and nursing staff, right down to the person that would come into his room each day, and sweep the floor, for at times he was in Isolation because any slight cold could kill him.

“I am forever grateful, I wanted to say thank you,” he said
One of the works ‘Care, Hope and Love’ will be donated to Ward 3, the Cancer Ward at Wellington hospital at the exhibition’s conclusion. This is his third exhibition at Deluxe. He says he likes the intimate space and the fact that people come in for coffee rather than it being a traditional gallery environment. “It’s also an appropriate place for Toast.”


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