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

Monday, September 19, 2011

A view from a Bridge

A reproduction of my painting of the 'Closing of the Gap' painted from the top of the Anzac Bridge is now the focus of the newly Reading Room of the State Reference Library.
Here are some behind the scenes photos of the preparation :



painting by industrial heritage artist Jane Bennett from the top of the Anzac Bridge, collection of the Mitchell Library, State Library of NSW

painting by industrial heritage artist Jane Bennett from the top of the Anzac Bridge, collection of the Mitchell Library, State Library of NSW


Here a workman adds some finishing touches before the Reading Room is open to the public.
painting by industrial heritage artist Jane Bennett from the top of the Anzac Bridge, collection of the Mitchell Library, State Library of NSW
I couldn't resist a sneak peek at the massive reproduction of my painting, so I crept down the stairs for a preview before the official opening!


painting by industrial heritage artist Jane Bennett from the top of the Anzac Bridge, collection of the Mitchell Library, State Library of NSW

I'm used to seeing a little bit of construction debris around my paintings!


painting by industrial heritage artist Jane Bennett from the top of the Anzac Bridge, collection of the Mitchell Library, State Library of NSW

The image has been enlarged to take up the entire wall behind the copying desk. It must be at least 3 times as large as the original canvas.
I wish I could have taken a canvas this large up to the top of the bridge, but I would have ended up hang- gliding all the way to New Zealand if I had!

Alex Byrne, Director of the State Library

State Librarian Alex Byrne opened the doors to officially declare  new-look State Reference Library (SRL) OPEN at 9am this morning.

The Library staff wait expectantly for the doors to be opened.



painting by industrial heritage artist Jane Bennett from the top of the Anzac Bridge, collection of the Mitchell Library, State Library of NSW



I was so thrilled that a reproduction of my painting 'Closing the Gap' is now displayed in the new look Reading Room!

painting by industrial heritage artist Jane Bennett from the top of the Anzac Bridge, collection of the Mitchell Library, State Library of NSW


painting by industrial heritage artist Jane Bennett from the top of the Anzac Bridge, collection of the Mitchell Library, State Library of NSW
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The 'cats whiskers' of the cables radiate out from the pylons like open arms welcoming the visitors.
painting by industrial heritage artist Jane Bennett from the top of the Anzac Bridge, collection of the Mitchell Library, State Library of NSW

I was amazed at the clarity of the image - how vibrant the ultramarine blue of the harbour appears. It has been described as "Yves Klein blue", but to me it is the quintessential Sydney blue, the blue of Brett Whiteley's Lavender Bay. Ultramarine - literally "outre mer" - beyond the sea. Originally ground from a semi precious stone, lapis lazuli, ultramarine was the most regal and expensive colour, used only to paint heaven or the cloaks of saints. Now this pigment has been replaced by cheap synthetic alternatives but the colour retains its almost mystical aura.



One nice touch is that even though my signature should have been cropped and obscured by the skirting board holding the panel in place, the design team very thoughtfully added my signature to the image at the lower right corner. Visitors will also be able to use the QR sign on the wall to link with this blog.

painting by industrial heritage artist Jane Bennett from the top of the Anzac Bridge, collection of the Mitchell Library, State Library of NSW
painting by industrial heritage artist Jane Bennett from the top of the Anzac Bridge, collection of the Mitchell Library, State Library of NSW

A quote from the website of the State Library :
 "Our love of Sydney is clear throughout the Library with some spectacular images from our world-renowned collection on show, including Jane Bennett’s stunning Closing the Gap (1995) and Thomas Woore’s Panorama of Sydney (1829)."


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