Industrial Cathedral

Industrial Cathedral
"Industrial Cathedral" charcoal drawing on paper 131 x 131 cm Jane Bennett. This drawing was a finalist in the 1998 Dobell Prize for Drawing (Art Gallery of N.S.W.) ; Finalist in 1998 Blake Prize for Religious Art ; Winner of 1998 Hunter's Hill Open Art Prize

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Recently Sold Paintings : Pyrmont Paintings at Workplace 6

plein air oil painting of Pyrmont from the roof of the Pyrmont Power Station by industrial heritage artist Jane Bennett
Pyrmont Panorama : Union Square from the Roof of Pyrmont Power Station  1993 oil on canvas 91 x 122cm
$11,000 
SOLD
PRIVATE COLLECTION : SYDNEY
Enquiries about other Pyrmont paintings:
janecooperbennett@gmail.com


This canvas was from one of my favourite studios  - in Pyrmont the roof of the old Pyrmont Power Station. Many of my paintings  concentrate on the spectacular Sydney Harbour views, but for a change I painted the heritage precinct of worker’s cottages, Victorian terraces and bond stores, little knowing how much this view would soon change. The bond stores  next to the vacant lot would soon make way for the substation between Pyrmont and Harris streets. The old “Duke of Edinburgh” hotel on the corner of Union and Harris Streets was renovated and is now called the “Harlequin Inn”. The handsome sandstone building with a red tiled roof was the Pyrmont Post Office, and has now become the Pyrmont branch of the Bendigo Community Bank.
I exhibited this work as part of my Pyrmont display at Workplace6 during the Sydney Open. While that exhibition was not intended to be a commercial show, many people contacted my gallery, the Frances Keevil Gallery afterwards to enquire about the paintings.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

My Paintings at Sydney Open- Part 2




My exhibition of Pyrmont paintings at 'Workplace6'







Easel on left:
above: 'R.E.V.Y. from the top of the Elcom building' 1991 oil on board 31 x 25cm

centre:'Pyrmont Goods Yard and Miller's Point from the roof of the Pyrmont Power Station' 1993 oil on canvas 91 x 122cm

Easel on right:
above: 'Early morning, Jones Bay Road' 1997 oil on canvas 41 x 51cm

centre:'Building Star City Casino' 1995 oil on canvas 91 x 122cm

Enquiries about my Pyrmont paintings:


Note the reflections on the polished floor.
plein air oil paintings of Pyrmont exhibited at the Sydney Open in the Workplace6 building by industrial heritage artist Jane Bennett







Easel on left:
'Closing the gap' 1995 oil on canvas 91 x 122cm

Enquiries about my Pyrmont paintings:

Thursday, November 25, 2010

My Paintings at the Sydney Open : Part 1


My exhibition: "From the Hungry Mile to Barangaroo"
Foyer of LendLease 30,'The Bond',
30 Hickson Road, Millers Point
plein air oil paintings of East Darling Harbour Wharves and Barangaroo exhibited at the Sydney Open in the Bond building by industrial heritage artist Jane Bennett
Paintings of Barangaroo at Sydney Open - 30, The Bond

From left to right:
easel on left: 
top : 'Relics from the Dead House 2' 2007 oil on canvas 91 x 61 cm
bottom left: "Hungry Dinosaurs" 2010 oil on canvas 36 x 46 cm 
bottom right: "Grabber, Muncher,Ripper" 2010 oil on canvas 31 x 31cm

easel in centre: 
top: "I saw the number '8' in red"   2010 oil on canvas 61 x 183cm
centre: :"Red Square (Arrivals Hall) 2010 oil on canvas 61 x 183cm
bottom left: "The drill rig" 2010 oil on canvas 36 x 36cm
bottom right: "Red Square" 2010 oil on canvas 36 x 36cm

easel on right:

top left:"8 (ate)"  2010 oil on canvas 41 x 31cm
top right: "Dig it! (The archaeologists)"   2010 oil on canvas 31 x 15cm
centre: "A work in progress" 2010 oil on canvas 91 x 122cm (Unfinished)
bottom left: "The last gantry"  2010 oil on canvas 41 x 31cm
bottom right: "Pump it! (The 'Watertank')" 2010 oil on canvas 31 x 41cm

Enquiries about these and other Millers Point, East Darling Harbour Wharves and Barangaroo paintings:
janecooperbennett@gmail.com

plein air oil paintings of East Darling Harbour Wharves and Barangaroo exhibited at the Sydney Open in the Bond building by industrial heritage artist Jane Bennett
easel on right:
top :"2 cranes"  2006 oil on canvas 41 x 51cm
below: "Boat Lift"   2007 oil on canvas 100 x 122cm

easel in centre: 
top left: "The tug "Karoo""   2008 oil on canvas 20 x 25cm
top right: :"The tug "Woona" 2008 oil on canvas 20 x 25cm
below: "The 'Tamerlane' after rain" 2005 oil on canvas 75 x 100cm

Enquiries about these and other Millers Point, East Darling Harbour Wharves and Barangaroo paintings:
janecooperbennett@gmail.com


 A small selection of my paintings of the East Darling Harbour Wharves and their transformation into the Barangaroo precinct were exhibited for one day only on Sunday 7th November 2010, in the foyer of the LendLease Headquarters in '30, The Bond' directly opposite the Barangaroo site itself. 
On the same day a selection of my Pyrmont paintings were also exhibited in the foyer of 'Workplace6', headquarters of Google, and 2 of Paul Signorelli's new restaurants, 'Biaggio' and 'Gastronomia'.
In these photos, my paintings of Barangaroo are displayed in front of the spectacular escarpment wall of yellowblock sandstone, catching the dying embers of the afternoon sun. 
I borrowed the "A" frame easels from John Sweaney of ASMA (The Australian Society of Marine Artists) and put my entire black ankle sock collection on their feet to prevent the floor being scratched!
 This exhibition consisted of a total of 24 paintings crammed onto 8 easels. The larger canvases perched on the crossbars and the smaller ones tied to the top and bottom legs by cable ties. Not an ideal situation, aesthetically, but not bad under the circumstances. 
I'm a big fan of the humble cable tie. Once a large bit fell off the bottom of my car and I fastened it back on with judiciously applied cable ties. It was obviously nothing seriously structural or the car wouldn't have been driveable, although it was by no means a well car at the best of times, and died in traffic not long afterwards.
Until a few days beforehand, it was uncertain whether or not I would be permitted to display my work at all. Then the logistics of how to display paintings and what to display them on became the issue. Finally the problem of transporting easels and paintings to two locations; one in Pyrmont, one in the CBD. Canvases and paintings could not be transported in the same car at the same time, or there was an excellent chance of piercing the canvases with an easel leg. I wanted to put on a good display as both '30, The Bond' and 'Workplace6' have majestic interiors and having fewer paintings would make them look like postage stamps in comparison. Fortunately I received a great deal of help from the people at the Historic Houses Trust, Bradford Kerr, the Building Services Manager at The Bond, and my dealer Frances Keevil. They all arrived heroically early on the Sunday and mastered the arcane mysteries of hanging paintings with cable ties in record time.

Update 17/10/12
Although both my exhibitions were very popular and gave onlookers a unique experience of seeing the past history of these areas in context with their present day surroundings; the Historic Houses Trust has messed me around badly , and I will not be exhibiting in the 2012 Sydney Open. 


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Beyond the Sea

Invitation to an exhibition:

'Beyond the Sea' 
: an exhibition held by the Sydney Heritage Fleet and ASMA, The Australian Society of Marine Artists.
Opening night : Friday 26th November 2010 6 - 8pm
Wharf 7, Pirrama Road, Pyrmont 2009
Opening night admission : $10
RSVP Friday 19th November : please call (02) 9298 3888
The exhibition continues until 12th December
Hours 10am - 3pm
Admission free on all other days except for opening night

 Donation to the Sydney Heritage Fleet
I am donating this painting - it will be raffled and all proceeds are being donated to the Sydney Heritage Fleet
plein air oil painting of the tall ship 'James Craig' at Wharf 7 Pyrmont by industrial heritage artist Jane Bennett
'The Tall Ship 'James Craig' at Darling Harbour' 
2003  oil on paper 48 x 37 cm


This is painted opposite Wharf 7, the  headquarters of the Sydney Heritage Fleet.

  My Paintings will be for sale in the exhibition at Wharf 7, Headquarters of the Sydney Heritage Fleet

I will be one of the featured artists in this exhibition as my paintings depict historic moments in the development of both Pyrmont and Barangaroo.
plein air oil painting of Sydney Harbour from the roof of the Pyrmont Power Station by industrial heritage artist Jane Bennett
"Pyrmont and Miller's Point from the roof of Pyrmont Power station"  1993 
oil on canvas 91 x 122 cm
Enquiries about these and other Pyrmont, Millers Point, East Darling Harbour Wharves and Barangaroo paintings:

This canvas was painted from the roof of the old Pyrmont Power Station, now replaced by Star City Casino.The pile of rubble in the centre is an old signal box in the Pyrmont Goods Yard, the 'Spanish Cafe' in Baz Luhrman's classic Australian film 'Strictly Ballroom'. The bright red ship in the background is the notorious 'Tampa'! 
In the early 1980's,when I first started to paint in Pyrmont, the building in the centre of this painting was the site of Pier 13, where so many immigrantss first set foot on Australian soil. It was still connected to Jones Bay Road by an elegant land bridge. Later Pier 13 became the temporary casino, was painted a hideous shade of yellow and the land bridge was demolished. Pier 13 has since been replaced by 'Workplace6', home of 'Google' and Paul Signorelli's restaurants 'Gastronomia' and 'Biaggio'.
 Curving under the bridge is the old Pyrmont goods line, built in 1916, which looped through Darling Harbour and around Pyrmont across Wentworth Park and beyond. At vast expense, this goods line was torn up and replaced by the dubious benefit of light rail.
I have painted Pyrmont's metamorphosis from an industrial wasteland to a media and entertainment hub over a 30 year period. I painted from dozens of business and residential premises, painting panoramas of the dramatically changing urban landscape from rooftops, chimneys, demolition sites and even the summit of the half completed Anzac Bridge.

I will exhibit some of my Barangaroo paintings in this venue,showing the area's exciting transition from a working port to the preparations for its transformation into Sydney's new cultural and economic hub. I have been 'Artist in Residence' at Barangaroo since the early 2000's, compiling an archive of all the changes and so far I've maintained my position throughout the area's change of owners. I was granted unprecedented access to paint this area as a working port by Sydney Ports Corporation, Patrick Corporation and P & O. Now I am starting to paint the demolition and construction activities at Barangaroo South.


plein air oil painting of East Darling Harbour Wharves - now Barangaroo by industrial heritage artist Jane Bennett
'Barangaroo when it was a working port-The yard from the port captain's office'
2007 oil on canvas 91 x 122 cm
Enquiries about these and other Millers Point, East Darling Harbour Wharves and Barangaroo paintings:

This is Barangaroo as it used to be as a working port. Compare this painting with the empty wharf paintings that follow. Jeffrey Smart, eat your heart out!
plein air oil painting of East Darling Harbour Wharves - now Barangaroo by industrial heritage artist Jane Bennett
'The empty wharf'2007 oil painting on canvas 100 x 122cm
Enquiries about these and other Millers Point, East Darling Harbour Wharves and Barangaroo paintings:
The 2 horizontal paintings were painted from the same viewpoint exactly 1 year apart.
plein air oil painting of East Darling Harbour Wharves - now Barangaroo by industrial heritage artist Jane Bennett
'The Harbour Control Tower from the Hungry Mile' 
2008 oil on canvas 183 x 122cm.
Enquiries about these and other Millers Point, East Darling Harbour Wharves and Barangaroo paintings:

This canvas was painted as soon as the wharfies had left.
While the wharf was still operational I would never have been allowed to paint here as it was far too dangerous. Forklifts used to constantly whip in and out, and there was a deafening alarm that would go off when they did. I had earmarked this spot for an iconic painting as soon as I arrived. 
The doorway frames the Sydney Harbour Tower, the bond stores and the quirky architecture of the heritage Palisade Hotel perched on the golden sandstone escarpment to perfection.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Watch Paint Dry : My painting of the 'Classic and Wooden Boat Show'

plein air painting of the 2010 'Classic and Wooden Boat Show' at the Australian National Maritime Museum' by marine artist Jane Bennett
'Classic and Wooden Boat Show' 
2010 oil on canvas 31 x 61cm 
$2,000
Sold
Enquiries about similar paintings:
janecooperbennett@gmail.com


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Navigator and the King

'La Perouse' - Windows on History
still life vanitas oil painting of maps hourglass compass telescope & other antique navigation instruments by heritage artist Jane Bennett
'La Perouse - the navigator and the King' 
 2010 oil on canvas 46 x 46cm
Enquiries about this painting:
janecooperbennett@gmail.com 

still life vanitas oil painting of maps sextant compasses & other antique navigation instruments by heritage artist Jane Bennett
La Perouse - 'The Art of Navigation'  
2010 oil on canvas 75 x 100cm

Enquiries about this painting:
janecooperbennett@gmail.com 

Exhibited in the Laperouse Museum until January 2011.
These paintings were inspired by meditation on the unpredictable nature of history, exploration and the fate of nations.

The portrait of the gallant yet doomed La Perouse receiving his commission from his equally ill-fated monarch is doubly ironic. The antipodean voyage of La Perouse was personally planned by the king together with the explorer and the loss of the expedition caused Louis XVI both personal grief and political humiliation.
Louis XVI sought to reinvigorate the stagnating French economy through trade and had invested a great deal of the government finances into improving the French Navy. This was both a personal and a political goal. His private study was filled with nautical charts and the burnished brass of mathematical instruments, telescopes, sextants and the locks which the King himself designed and made. Louis XVI sought also to regain the colonial power and prestige lost by his grandfather in the Seven Year’s War. Much of the debt burdening his government was a consequence of French involvement in the revolt of the American colonies against Britain. A radical program of naval reconstruction was undertaken by first Turgot, then Sartine and finally de Castries. These brilliant, though fiscally irresponsible men attempted to transform the French navy into the equal of the British fleet, but heroic projects such as the transformation of Cherbourg harbour came at a ruinous price.
If Governor Philip and all his ships had been lost at sea and La Perouse had made a triumphant return to France after adding the continent of Australia to France’s extensive colonial empire, what could hvae been the outcome? Would Australia have been settled by French colonists or become a battleground between the French and British Empires as Canada had been? If La Perouse’s expedition had ended in a blaze of glory, would the good publicity have sufficiently enhanced the reputation of the monarchy to withstand the economic and social pressures that resulted in the anarchy of the Revolution?

Now that the exhibition in the LaPerouse Museum has finished, I'm going to enter "The Art of Navigation" in the Camden Art Prize. It's far too strange to win, it'll just confuse the judges. But I feel like being brave. And it will certainly stand out in the crowd.

The Art of Navigation

The Navigators : Captain Cook and La Perouse

These paintings were created to celebrate the life and achievements of the famous navigators Captain James Cook and the Comte de la Perouse, in exhibitions held by the Australian Society of Marine Artists.
The paintings inspired by Captain James Cook were exhibited at the Kurnell Museum from June 2009 in “Where cultures meet’ Exhibition at the Visitor’s Centre, Captain Cook Landing Site, Kurnell. The paintings inspired by La Perouse are exhibited in"Windows on History - Aspects of the Story of La Perouse"  at the La Perouse Museum.
I had to do extensive research to create these paintings. Instead of painting historical re-enactments of the events and the ships, I decided to focus on their mastery of the art of navigation.
 oil painting of sextant  by heritage artist Jane Bennett
'The Lunar Distance Method' 
2009 oil painting on canvas 20 x 25cm
$550
Sold
Enquiries about similar paintings:
janecooperbennett@gmail.com 
Before John Harrison’s Chronometer No. 4, which Cook successfully tested on the “Resolution” during his 2nd great voyage of exploration, the most reliable way of finding longitude was by the lunar distance method.

The reflecting quadrant (often called an octant because its curved scale formed the eighth part of a circle) helped sailors find both latitude and longitude, and was invented in 1731 simultaneously but independently by John Hadley in England and by Thomas Godfrey In America. Previously, instruments such as astrolabes had been used to find longitude and local time by estimating the height of the sun or a star above the horizon. The reflecting quadrant allowed direct measurement of the elevations of 2 celestial bodies such as the moon and the sun during daylight or between the moon and the stars at night as well as the distances between them. When the horizon disappeared in fog or darkness the readings were unaffected as the quadrant provided an artificial horizon, even if the ship pitched and rolled. The quadrant was improved by adding a telescope and a wider measuring arc, becoming an even more accurate instrument known as the sextant. The navigator measured the lunar distances from the deck, then consulted tables listing the angular distances between the moon and the sun or stars for particular times of the day as they would be observed from London or Paris. The angular distances are the degrees of arc - the size of the angle made by two lines of sight from the eye of the observer to the 2 chosen objects. Then the navigator compared the time of his observation with the time that particular position had been predicted for his home port. If the observation was at 1am local time when the tables predicted the same configuration over London at 4am, the ship’s time was 3 hours earlier, so therefore the ship was currently sailing at longitude 45 degrees west of London.



Drawing of lunar method applied on a ship with...
Drawing of lunar method applied on a ship with stars and moon in sky (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
 However, the lunar method required considerable mathematical skill. As well as measuring the altitudes of various celestial bodies and the angular distances between them, the navigator would have to factor in how near these objects were to the horizon as the steep refraction of light would put their apparent positions considerably higher than their actual ones. There was also the problem of lunar parallax, as the tables were formulated for an observer at the Earth’s centre, and the deck of a ship is of course many feet above sea-level (Hopefully!) Some days the moon is too close to the sun to make lunar distance measurements, and other days the distance between moon and sun is too great so that during these times the navigator would have to plot the moon against the stars, often with lesser accuracy.

 
Navigation Instruments 

still life vanitas oil painting of sextant maps and other antique navigation instruments by heritage artist Jane Bennett
'The art of Navigation' 2009 oil painting on canvas 25 x 20cm

Sold

Enquiries about similar paintings 

janecooperbennett@gmail.com 
 

The instruments of navigation : sextant, compass, telescope, hourglass, nautical charts and gentleman’s pocket spheres are fragile and exquisitely wrought relics of the heroic age of exploration. They now look quaint but the life or death of hundreds of men once depended on the captain’s skill and  judgement in using them. The mythological emblems on the celestial sphere are a reminder that not long before, navigation was an esoteric mystery, more an art than a science. I hadn’t realised how much things like accurate timekeeping and  knowing exactly where you are at sea, we now take for granted. It is so difficult in our age of “Google Earth” and mass communications to appreciate the isolation and danger of such a journey.
The hourglass and the skull are ‘memento mori’ emblems, common to still life "vanitas" painting of the 17th and 18th centuries. "Vanitas" paintings are warnings against pride and indicate the transitory nature of life, power and fame.

Cover of

Citizens: A Chronicle of the French Revolution...







My paintings were inspired by reading :

Citizens- A Chronicle of the French Revolution” by Simon Schama

“LONGITUDE The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time” by Dava Sobel

“SEA OF DANGERS Captain Cook and his Rivals” by Geoffrey Blainey