Benni Esposito

Benni Esposito intimation

Benni D'Arcy Esposito
Artist, Lecturer, Stand-up Comedian, Musician

by Iain Sturrock

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Benni Esposito was a man of many parts: he was an excellent artist with a very promising career ahead of him; a popular and capable lecturer at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art; he enjoyed success as both a comedian and compere; and was involved in various musical projects from a young age. What was unusual about Benni's efforts in these differing fields was that he brought an intensity and clarity of purpose to each project; he was not a jack of all trades, master of none. He genuinely mastered each endeavour.

Benni lived in London until the age of four but for the rest of his childhood and adolescence was raised in Carnoustie, in Angus. Benni was diagnosed shortly after birth with Wolf-Parkinsons-White Syndrome, a condition that affects the rhythm of the heart. Until the age of seven drugs controlled the syndrome, and it was at this age that he was successfully weaned off of them. This condition was recorded as his official cause of death.

From an early age Benni stood out as a naturally gifted artist, winning prizes for his art at primary school. Although in adulthood he worked in many different professional areas, he never stopped developing that early promise as an artist. At Carnoustie High School he formed a controversial punk band with a number of his friends; this was the beginning of the musical side of Benni's activities. His teachers found him to be an irreverent and non-conformist pupil, although he was never confrontational with them. He was intellectually gifted in the humanities, and was a supremely communicative pupil. This culminated in his stage appearances as a compere for a school production of Blind Date. From a young age he was a natural showman.

Between 1989 and 1991 he attended Dundee College where he gained a National Certificate in Art and Design and completed a Folio Course. He was not clear in his mind during this period as to which direction his life should take and this was followed by a frustrating year out of education. This experience strengthened his resolve to study at art college and he subsequently enjoyed a fruitful year at Arbroath College, studying art, with the firm intention of gaining entrance to Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art in Dundee. His feelings about the timing of his acceptance at Duncan of Jordanstone were that he would only study there when he felt ready to. This spoke of a clear sightedness and degree of self-possession rare in a twenty two year old man.

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