Awarded Honorary Companionship of the Royal Aeronautical Society, the society's highest distinction for those whose professional achievements are not exclusively in aerospace but who have made a substantial contribution to the aerospace profession. Awarded to David Bent "in recognition of his exceptional contribution in transforming aviation art with iconic paintings, bringing aviation, technology and art together to a completely new audience while, at the same time, promoting aerospace far and wide."
Royal Aeronautical Society
David Bent's work combines fine authentic detail of the subject matter together with artistic flair, the result is a unique piece of desirable artwork. Eric Ward MBE
David's art delivers a precise and energetic style that is a wonderfully eclectic mixture of the technically and mechanically accurate, fused with a Boy's Own bravado that hides a multitude of meaning in the carefully orchestrated symbolism and composition of his subjects. His natural skill and wit seems carefully and thoughtfully cloaked in paintings imbued with a real significance at their heart. I love his juxtaposition of traditional methodology fused with a totally modern dynamism.
Marc Allum, Fine Art Consultant and BBC Antiques Roadshow Specialist
Dave's work makes me stop, think and wonder. This is why I love it. I'm connected to his aviation art through my own life and loves but every time I view his work I see something new. A visit to the studio enhanced my view and drew me in closer.
Mindy Arora, Founder Asali
David's aviation inspired art is unique and inspirational. I am always blown away with the detail, the colours and the geometry in his work. The shapes that he sees and uses from the aircraft excite me every time I see it and come back to a piece, I see something new and impressive each time. Simply brilliant.
Flt Lt Jim Peterson
2019 was an important year for Saab in the UK and so it was important to work with an artist that could harness our narrative; David Bent's modern clean artistic style cuts to the very essence of what Saab is about. Our commitment to our relationship with the United Kingdom has stood strong for the last 40 years, and we expect it to grow.
Swindon Museum & Art Gallery are delighted to announce their most recent acquisitions to the Art collections. These new works include a stunning landscape painting and prints by artist David Bent. The painting, Beach House West of Looe, from David's Landscape Geometry series was included as part of The Lie of the Land exhibition, which explores Modern British Landscapes from the Swindon Collection. This exhibition also featured artists such as Richard Long, Mary Fedden, Roger Fry and Vanessa Bell. The acquisition also includes two prints from his innovative Aerobot photo collage collection.
Swindon Museum & Art Gallery, UK
Leading modern aviation artist David Bent was first invited to collaborate as Artist in Residence with the Red Arrows in 2006. This remains a positive and enduring goodwill relationship and David is the artist most closely associated with the team. His work is exhibited on the walls of the team's Lincolnshire home base of RAF Scampton, including in the crew briefing room. With wonderful use of colour, expert detail and creativity, his work perfectly showcases both the excitement of flight and its inherent beauty. David's art reflects the precision and engineering excellence of the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team. In addition, he captures the imagination of those who see and are inspired by his pieces - just as the Red Arrows do with every performance and display.
Andrew Morton, PR Manager, The Red Arrows, RAF Scampton UK
David Bent's outstanding career in art developed over various fields, styles and applications, paired with his leading role in the aviation art movement, truly inspires art and artists worldwide. His passion, commitment and engagement for art and its education makes him an ideal brand ambassador for Daler-Rowney and we are proud to welcome him in the Daler-Rowney family as an iconic artist.
I first discovered David's work at the Russell Cotes Museum & Art gallery whilst visiting the Bournemouth Air Festival . I was immediately fascinated and intrigued by the hidden detail and what it represents in each painting. This inspired me as a photographer to incorporate similar 'meaningful' detail rather than the obvious subject in the images I capture.
Claire Hartley. Photographer
I love Dave's historic (and modern) take on the Poppy. It perfectly reflects past airpower, future airpower, and faithfully honours all who have Served. Really appreciate all you do through art to connect people to their fellow citizens who preserve and protect our freedoms.
Joe DellaVedova, Retired, U.S. Air Force Officer
I loved Dave's work from the first time I saw it at RIAT. Then to get the opportunity to meet him and Carole and have him put together some work on the F35 was fantastic. Number 2/50 sits in pride of place above my fireplace in South Carolina and gets plenty of attention anytime people visit.
Hugh Nichols. Pilot, formerly F-35B
David Bent's art, which was on display at Swindon's Great Western Hospital during the time our son was in intensive care for three months a few years ago, was unmissable. It was a burst of colour, shape and brightness in an otherwise largely grey time. We used to relish walking past it, pausing, on the way to the canteen for a break. It was good to see difference - especially the aviation paintings - which were of another world outside, a reminder of blue skies and soaring beyond the wards. Our son now thrives thanks to the kind, persistent work of the medical team at Swindon. And it was great to see David Bent's Out of the Box at its opening recently, a happy reminder of recovery, as well as the precariousness of human existence. If you get chance, go and see it, and reflect on the wonder of life.
Steven Day & Suzanne Askham
Beautiful emotive work by David Bent. Amanda and Jordon Essen
David's art is like super hero movies and science fiction blended into one ...with airpower superimposed on top. Mark Pope, UK Ministry of Defence, Shrivenham
David's eye for composition, shapes, outline and technical precision complement each other so wonderfully in all his art work. But it is his inspiration and vivid love of aircraft and the magic of flight that makes David’s work stand out!
Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Dalton GCB ADC BSc FRAeS CCMI RAF Chief of the Air Staff, Royal Air Force UK
I've greatly admired David's work for many years. He always captures the spirit, power and emotion together with the romance of flight. Its interesting how his work is so appreciated by the pilots who fly the aircraft he paints. Having spoken with many of them it is because he understands the passion and "feel" of aviation and manages to seal that into all of his artworks - a true gift.
Phill O Dell, Director of Flight Operations and Experimental Test Pilot, Rolls Royce
David's paintings are fantastic, combining art with the technology of flight in a thoughtful and inspiring manner. I have three already and can't wait to buy my next three, each one evokes it's own unique and personal story. "Timeless" is a real icon of everything that is great about Aerospace engineering in the United Kingdom
Professor Iain Gray CBE, Director of Aerospace, Cranfield University, UK
Imaginative, often intriguing, delightful. David's work incorporates not only the physical imagery but a good deal of peripheral psychological content. Michael Turner, President, FGAvA
David Bent's stunning portraits of high tech advanced aviation where machine as marvel is a critical theme have long been on the Kurzweil radar... David's acclaimed works of art fascinate with their simple austerity - and at the same time, surprise with their mesmerizing intimacy.
Sarah Black. Managing Editor Kurzweil A.I News. San Francisco USA
On July 4th 2016, we opened our new Gas Turbine and Transmissions Research Centre (G2TRC), the design of which we have paid particular attention to, to ensure that it forms the intersection between academic creativity, research excellence and engineering innovation. I was keen to include an artistic dimension and was delighted that we were able to work with David Bent to incorporate these modern aeroengine works along one dimension of the main research and innovation space, to inspire our students and staff and to set our ambition clearly.
Prof. Herve. Morvan FRAeS. Director Institute for Aerospace Technology. The University of Nottingham. UK
I had the opportunity to view David's work at the Royal International Air Tattoo and I was impressed by its originality and by his unusual but attractive treatment of a series of aerospace subjects.
Air Chief Marshal Sir Michael Knight. KCB AFC FRAeS FRGS
With Bach as its starting point, "The Art of Flight" soars off into the skies and space, building programmes around fugue and adding these to music and events that celebrate Bristol's status as home of the British aviation industry and the 150th anniversary year of the Royal Aeronautical Society. St George's is delighted to be able to include a special exhibition of leading modern aviation artist David Bent's work as part of our November "Art of Flight" line-up; David's captivating work is perfectly suited to our theme and we're sure it will be a big hit with visitors to the venue. The exhibition is scheduled to be held at the same time as the world premiere of a new piece of work commissioned by one of the UK's leading composers , Graham Fitkin.
Suzanne Rolt CEO St Georges, Bristol
Never before has British aviation and art come together as such. Tatianna K. Ojjeh, Switzerland
I have admired David Bent's work since the very first time I saw his unique perspectives and geometric patterns that creatively integrate the beauty of airplane design and the drama of flight. Every picture tells a story in a very unique way and leaves a lasting impression on the viewer.
Tom Burbage. Previously Executive Vice President, F-35 Program Lockheed Martin USA
David Bent, unlike many others, takes the time to really understand the subject matter & his passion, experience, determination and flair have been evident from the outset. Throughout the creative process, he has been a delight to work with. All in all, He has created a wonderful piece of art that delivers on so many levels.
Oliver Dury. Director of External Communications. Marshall Aerospace Defence Group
Intriguing and evocative. Our Bitza photo collage exemplifies David's unique view of the world, using humour, energy and a fine eye for aviation detail Giles Brookes. Owner & Director. Twelve Studio London
When you love aviation and you love the Middle East like I do, then there is no question that you will get drawn to David Bent. The passion for both subjects is so vibrant in his creations that I still do a second-take every time I pass the piece of his work that adorns my wall.
Alan Peaford. Editor-in-chief, Arabian Aerospace UK Africa & UAE
I like David's work, he has something others don't have. Is it a taste,a spirit, an action? Simply, it's a new horizon of art. Ahmed Alibrahim, Former Saudi Hawker Team Leader
It is very fitting that the partnership between David Bent, a leader in the world of modern aviation art, and the Bournemouth Air Festival has culminated in a 3 month exhibition of his superb aviation inspired work at the Russell-Cotes in 2016. This new and compelling exhibition combined his aviation passion, colour, creativity, vibrancy and unique ability to capture the art of flight like no other, all under the roof of the historic and unique Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum.
Sarah Newman, Programmes Officer Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum
I have three of David's pictures on my walls. As a former Vulcan pilot, I only know that David is a master of his craft and that his images lighten my spirit whenever I gaze upon them.
Andrew Brookes. Director, The Air League, London UK
David's thought provoking work breaks new ground in aviation art, very clever and totally original. Will Curtis. MD The Biggin Hill Airport
David Bent has produced some amazing works of art focussed on aviation and surrounding atmospheres. His exhibition was fascinating and depicted so beautifully the intrigue and majesty of XH558. Vulcan to the Sky campaign
David's work is both bold and exciting and I am delighted that I have the opportunity to display his work in the VIP pavilion at the Royal International Air Tattoo. The professionalism of both David and Carole during RIAT is a breath of fresh air.
Philippa Hayday Brown. RIAT
David takes something that everyone else has looked at, but sees it in a completely new way. Terry Diver. Director Silverpoint
Truly new, refreshing and engaging. You will never look at an aircraft in the same way again. David's work makes you look deeper. Joe McGrath. Managing Director Timelapse people & Air Show Commentator
We have recently started to collect David's work and currently have a collection of his high quality Red Arrows art prints. We find his work to be colourful and full of ideas, I often look at the pictures and see something different, which to me is the sign of a great artist. We look forward to continuing to develop our relationship.
Justin Clarke, Managing Director, Page1
The Arts Committee oversees the art displayed in the Fine Art Gallery Area of the Ground Floor Street of the hospital. David has kindly allowed the hospital to display his work and the Committee is enthusiastic to display it because of its innovative and inspiring approach to viewing and conceiving machines of the air in lateral and surprising ways.This is a unique opportunity for the people of Swindon to view a collection of works by one of its most reputable artists.
Steve Henderson, GWH Chaplain and Member of the Hospital Arts Committee
The BA (Hons) Commercial Photography course, at the Arts University Bournemouth are excited to be collaborating with both the Bournemouth Air Festival and the Internationally respected aviation artist David Bent. The collaboration gives our students the opportunity to use their skills and creativity while working on a fascinating project, during a festival that is important to Bournemouth, both culturally and economically. We look forward to the outcomes, exhibition and publication, and hope this will the first of many joint projects.
Conrad Tracy. Course Leader & Principal Lecturer - BA Commercial Photography
The collection makes my heart soar. Thankyou for sharing your interpretations with our students via the book. Alison Slaven, Nova Hreod Academy UK
Beautiful book, so pleased to pass it on to our mass media groups who are studying World War 1. They will be so inspired. Marilyn Fitzgerald, Create Studios
We are delighted to be able to host artist David Bent again this year as our official artist in residence during the Air Festival and are excited to also involve the talented students from the Arts University, Bournemouth. We look forward to seeing how they work together and capture the festival's colour, creativity, vibrancy and unique atmosphere.
Councillor Lawrence Williams, Cabinet member for Tourism, Leisure and the Arts, Bournemouth
It's good to see a great Swindon artist like David Bent being exhibited in our home town. I'm glad to say that David's work was on display when a special collection of his Battle of Britain artworks was exhibited as part of a unique commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the battle, paying tribute to Harold Starr, Swindon's own Battle of Britain hero and the other 543 of the 'the few'.
Graham Carter, Editor. Swindon Heritage
A wonderful exhibition and feel very privileged to be able to experience the studio thank you. Alex Giles, Old Town
I was first introduced to David's work several years ago just as he was evolving his photo collage style and the Aerobots were beginning to take shape. I was fascinated by the human element and characters that were emerging from his unique way of looking at aeroplanes and I fell in love with the bots. This relationship between man and machine is now a recurring theme in David's work which is both instantly accessible yet deeply moving. His work requires you to look and then look again to find the hidden depth and meaning, the personal touches and the stories of the men and the machines that take to the skies.
Helen Miah, Previous role as Commissioner Leisure, Libraries & Culture, Swindon Museum & Art Gallery
When revival in aviation art came in the 1960s it was predominantly military aviation that was concentrated upon and very largely in an historical context. The generation which had survived the war and had triumphed, expected artists to record, but also to romanticize, the part aviation had played in the war. The generation which had grown up after that conflict became seduced by the new craze for accuracy and authenticity. Artists responded to these demands, but sometimes at the cost of the artfulness and the sense of wonder of the subject which departed from their work. This has largely been the position until the arrival of the artist, David Bent, who provides a breath of Fresh Air. His approach is different. He brings an original eye and an unconstrained mind to this subject matter.
Andrew Cormack FSA, previously Keeper, Fine Arts, Medals & Uniforms, Royal Air Force Museum, London
David Bent's love for and appreciation of the power and beauty of aviation adds a unique fourth dimension to his work that sets it above his contemporaries. Many of our guests at the Royal International Air Tattoo share his passion and consequently view David's work as an integral part of our celebration of the magic that is aviation.
Tim Prince OBE, FRAeS, Honorary Vice Patron Royal International Air Tattoo Fairford UK
I'm particularly impressed by David's photocollages. He has the eye of an abstract painter with a touch of heartfelt mysticism. David totally transforms his subjects. Great Work. Marilyn Stern. University of New York USA
David's work is unique, deeply felt and makes me think of the future. Yousif Hassan Al Hamadi. President Emirates Aviation Association. Abu Dhabi UAE
David Bent is a very talented artist. Frank Cohen. Art Collector UK
David Bent's art is unique; it combines passion and sensitivity, the abstract and the vividly real. I especially love his colourful portrayals of the awe inspiring beauty of flight. Air Marshal Sir Christopher Coville UK
I have a selection of prints of David Bent's works on display in my London office and they have attracted a great deal of interest and highly favourable comment from my many visitors.
Sir Nigel Essenhigh GCB, ADC. Previously Northrop Grumman UK
We were truly excited to host David Bent as our first official artist in residence at the Air Festival. David is world renowned for his leading aviation artwork and his stunning piece captured the Festival's colour, creativity, vibrancy and unique atmosphere. Equally so we look forward to welcoming him back in 2016 when David exhibits his outstanding work at the Russell Cotes Art Gallery and Museum.
Jon Weaver, Bournemouth Air Festival Director UK
I love David's artwork brilliant colours, great observation and precision in his work, almost akin to mandala artwork. Dwina Gibb. Artist & Writer UK
David's work constantly evolves encompassing all the senses & the beauty of the experience of flight. His thrilling works of art intrigue, entertain and enchant our guests to a new level each year on.....
Suzannah Harvey Director The Cotswold Airport & Airshow UK
I am attracted to David Bent's art as he has taken iconic bits of aviation history and remixed them into kaleidoscopic images and patterns. An emblem here, a silhouette there and you are transported back to days gone by as you discover subtlety and nuance in the shadows, shapes and angles of his artwork. The middle eastern influence evident in his latest series is as unique and beguiling as is the region.
Ted Ingram, President APPH Houston, USA
It takes quite a mind to see through the everyday and to create complementary artwork of outstanding dynamism. David has that mind and we at Farnborough International Airshow are privileged to share the experience.
Trevor Sidebottom. Previously MD Farnborough International Airshow UK
David's work is striking in its originality. It captures the essence of the Red Arrows and the emotiveness of their displays. It truly is breathtaking and reflects the excellence of both the artist and the team.
Emma Thomas. PR Officer 2009. The Royal Air Force Aerobatics Team. The Red Arrows, RAF Scampton UK
Work of great integrity and beauty, by turns both challenging and inspiring. Ruth Staple, Previously Artsmatrix, Bristol UK
In celebration of our milestone event, it made perfect sense to invite one of the world's leading aviation artists to unveil his latest masterpieces. We hope that all visitors have the chance to view David's exceptional work.
Alison Weller. Director Aerospace F&E Dubai Airshow UAE
David Bent captures the unique excitement and spirit of flight. Lawrie Cleary. Art Collector Manchester UK
David Bent has put the humanity back into aviation. Cliff Allison. Ex Royal Engineers UK
David Bent captures the essence of a subject beautifully, then transforms it into another paradigm to create new worlds that are dynamic and visually appealing. Yumi Ogasawara. Wabi Art, London UK
David's art is intelligent, vibrant and distinctive... relevant to both aviation professionals and to anyone excited by the thrill of flight. Clive Richardson, Chief Executive, Aerospace Group. F&E, Dubai UAE
We first saw David's work when we displayed at the Royal International Air Tattoo, where he was exhibiting in the VIP marquees. You can imagine the number of images that we see of the Red Arrows every single day, and it takes something pretty special to get all of our attention! We were so impressed by the striking nature of the paintings that we immediately pestered him to see if he would be interested in collaborating with the Red Arrows.
R.Huxford. PR Manager The Royal Air Force Aerobatics Team. The Red Arrows 2002 - 2008 RAF Scampton UK
FRESH AIR. In the early twentieth century, aviation gripped the imagination of artists. The achievement of powered flight, the ability to behave like, and experience the same as, the birds was something that mankind had dreamt about for millennia. The aspiration to fly can be traced back to Greek mythology and, though balloons, from the late eighteenth century, gave some impression of what it was like, the triumph of the lightweight internal combustion engine and the design of lifting surfaces alterable in their shape when in flight, and therefore controllable as to direction, was the ultimate breakthrough in the realization of the dream. From the earliest days of powered flight its miraculous achievement, the interesting shapes that it inspired and the heroism of those who practised the art, prompted artists to represent these aerial humano-mechanical creatures. Though this interest persisted through the First World War and then gained new strength from the triumphs of long distance flying, female aviators and brightly coloured aeroplanes, the realities of air warfare during the Second World War both for the aviators and for those subject to their power stripped the gilding off the gingerbread. The radiant and promising angel of 1912, or even 1930, had, by the 1950s, taken on the guise of the vengeful, fallen angel threatening world oblivion through nuclear weapons. When revival in aviation art came in the 1960s it was predominantly military aviation that was concentrated upon and very largely in an historical context. The generation which had survived the war and had triumphed, expected artists to record, but also to romanticize, the part aviation had played in the war. The generation which had grown up after that conflict became seduced by the new craze for accuracy and authenticity. Artists responded to these demands, but at the cost of the artfulness and the sense of wonder of the subject which departed from their work. This has largely been the position until the arrival of the artist, David Bent, who provides a breath of Fresh Air. Brought up in the 1950s and early 60s, David Bent became as fascinated by aircraft as most young boys did at that time. Graduating from Art School in 1970, he made a living in social work and teaching until drawn back to his first love in 1979 in which year he became a professional artist. And in 1999 a chance visit to the Royal International Air Tattoo at Fairford brought aircraft back into his life. Though well aware of the current approach to aviation art, David Bent has chosen not to take that path. His approach is different. One may choose to label it as quirky, imaginative or simply new, but it certainly does not lack reverence; a significant knowledge of aircraft; an awareness of the sacrifices made at the altar of aviation or the political aspects of the capabilities unleashed by the unsuspecting Wright Brothers. He brings an original eye and an unconstrained mind to this subject matter. His early works stemmed from a fascination with the symmetry of aircraft and were originally based on the recomposition of photographs and later the manipulation of images through the computer. For the aeronautical engineer, symmetry is important because of the functionality that it delivers. Increases in engine power have permitted departure from absolute symmetry to a small degree. Bent's take on symmetry is entirely different and lead to the creation of the Aerobot range of pictures which amusingly re-arrange elements of aircraft structure into truly humano-aeronautical creatures. They combined inventive imagination with charm and wit.
Andrew Cormack FSA, previously Keeper, Fine Arts, Medals & Uniforms, Royal Air Force Museum, London. 2013