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

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Eveleigh - (Very) Stained Glass Windows Part 2

Flaws in the Glass
E84 Eveleigh Windows 2011 mixed media on paper 76x 56cm

Available for sale : $4,500

I have painted in the Large Erecting Shop for many years now, and usually I have concentrated on the trains rather than the building itself, as the trains were there for only a short time. 
However the fabric of the building itself is to alter soon, so my focus has shifted.
I completed a lovely little oil on canvas of a nondescript corner of the building, but then I decided to concentrate on the play of light, as so little colour was visible. Then I thought, why not paint a series of works in black and white.
I was reminded of some of my favourite Lloyd Rees paintings, his series of the medieval stained glass windows of Chartres Cathedral.
Painting E78 'Window, Large Erecting Shop' 2011ink pastel acrylic on paper 115 x 75cm
Tools of the trade. Large bottle of black acrylic paint and a small bottle of water spray.
I paint with black and white acrylic paint, alternating with black Indian ink to produce areas of thin wash or impasto.
Painting E78 'Window, Large Erecting Shop' 2011ink pastel acrylic on paper 115 x 75cm
Then alternately tilting the enormous work from side to side to get the effect of the cracks in the glass by spraying the ink with water until it freely drips, then quickly laying it on the floor when I have the effect I want. 
High risk technique - really working without a safety net.

Painting E78 'Window, Large Erecting Shop' 2011ink pastel acrylic on paper 115 x 75cm

Then I take soft white Schminke pastel - so soft that it crumbles into powder- and broadly sweep it down the ares of the most intense light. With the palm of my hand I briskly smear it across highlights on the brickwork, then partially rub it off ink lines where I want cracks in the shattered panes to appear. 
Also a high risk technique, and very messy.
Painting E78 'Window, Large Erecting Shop' 2011ink pastel acrylic on paper 115 x 75cm
This is next to the old signal box where I sometimes keep my easel. 
I have heard a rumour that they will paint the floors white!
I can't believe this!  They will still be using this area for trains - possibly even steam trains! There will be oil, diesel, soot all over the floor by the end of the first day! A white coloured floor will aid visibility only as long as it stays white, which probably won't be for long, whereas fixing the electricity and replacing some of the broken lights will go much further to reducing OH and S problems.
Well I had better make the most of working "wet in wet" with ink and pastel while I'm still able to put my painting on the floor before it all becomes too gentrified.

Painting E78 'Window, Large Erecting Shop' 2011 ink, pastel, acrylic on paper 115 x 75cm
Most people looking at these works thought at first glance that they were actual stained glass windows from  St Mary's cathedral. 
But they are just windows with a lot of stains on them. Stains made by decades of hard work, accident, even a little vandalism.
The light transforms them into visions worthy of Chartres or Sainte Chapelle.
My dealer, Frances Keevil, only half-jokingly suggested that I enter one of these works in the Blake Prize for Religious Art. 

E78 'Window, Large Erecting Shop' 2011 ink pastel acrylic on paper 115 x 75cm

Available for sale : $7,700

' Eveleigh Window 1' 2011 mixed media on paper 131x 115cm by Jane Bennett Artist
' Eveleigh Window 1' 2011 mixed media on paper 131x 115cm.
Available for sale : $11,000


The completed drawing.

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William Gulliver said...

Wow! Creating this stained window certainly took passion for creativity and hard work. It's amazing how the window looks very much like those you see in old, gothic churches. Amazing! Plus, the price tag is also amazing! LOL!

Jane Bennett Artist said...

When I visited genuine old Gothic church interiors such as Chartres and Cologne Cathedral, I kept thinking "it's so incredibly beautiful here that it reminds me of the Eveleigh Railway Workshops!"
As for the price, it is one of the largest works on paper that I have ever created on site!