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

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Artist in Residence at the Aroma Coffee Festival - the Post Mortem

I have tried to repair the three little paintings, which were smeared during my run in with the Spanish Inquisition at the Aroma Coffee Festival at the Rocks on Sunday.
I couldn't recapture their original freshness and joie de vivre, but then I didn't expect to. 
Something more than just the actual painting got damaged in that bruising, unnecessary and humiliating encounter with mindless authoritarianism.

Punjabi Dancers at the Aroma Coffee Festival 2011 oil on canvas 15 x 15cm
I was told by one of the dancers that this was a traditional Punjabi dance to celebrate the joy of bringing in the harvest. 3 or 4 minutes of whirling circles of gold, red and blue and then it was over. I thought it was an exhilarating start to what promised to be an exhausting but creative day at the festival. I didn't expect to paint more of this dance than a few bold lines to imply their energy and grace. I wanted to 'warm up' by creating several swift impressions of as many aspects of the festival as possible.
Sydney Opera House at Dawn 2011 oil on canvas 15x15cm

This is the tiny little oil study of the Opera House that all the fuss was about.
The irony is that I was only in this spot because the Channel 9 film crew was bored out of their tiny minds, searching for something worth filming before the festival actually started.
I don't enjoy staring into the sun while painting, but Channel 9, being sticklers for tradition, like to present the weather with a conventional harbour view and an obvious landmark such as the Opera House or the Sydney Harbour Bridge in the background.
Another irony was that by the time the power-crazed and heavy handed Rangers had arrived to attempt to prevent the creation of such a dangerous and subversive work of art, I had almost completed it and was about to find another location in which to be a public nuisance.

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