Painting. Weaving. Writing. Building in Nature. Metalworking. The confluence of NOËL Bennett’s lifework stems from a shift in consciousness she had while living with the Diné (Navajo) in New Mexico for eight years.
Bennett received her BA and MA in art from Stanford University in the 1960s and then studied independently with artist Richard Diebenkorn. She became a university art instructor. Moving to New Mexico ignited her immersion with Navajo textile.
She conducted over 200 symposia and workshops at museums, universities and conferences on the art of Navajo textiles in their historic and cultural context.
Bennet authored 10 books on the subject; founded the Navajo Textile Restoration Center; and established Shared Horizons, non-profit educational organization dedicated to research and public education on Navajo textile arts.
During these years, Bennett painted and exhibited her work. Her decades-long series, The Infinite Moment, is comprised of abstract paintings of textured iridescence, layer upon layer until a mesa, Mother Earth, emerges from the canvas and monumentally rises to meet (and mate) Father Sky, honoring the sacred union and female and male balance.
Each work manifests the archetypal T – the interstice of horizontal and vertical. Beauty. Balance. Blessing.
Ongoing is her work begun in 1985 with the Ansel Adams family to protect a geologically
significant amphitheater of spires, Cathedrals Canyon, in the Jemez Mountains of New Mexico.
Noël secured a National Endowment for the Arts grant to build two demonstrations; her project was called A Place in the Wild – Gentle Architecture for Fragile, Natural Places.