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

Friday, February 17, 2012

To a Good Home- St Vincent's in the Art of Darlinghurst update

A few of the paintings in my exhibition at St Vincent's have found good homes. In fact, the best homes I could have imagined!
A couple of days ago a man walked past the Frances Keevil Gallery and saw the printed article, that I had cut out of the Sydney Morning Herald, on the door. He then went to the hospital to see the exhibition as he recognised the street and houses from the tiny photo of my painting. His parents had apparently lived in one of the houses. I'm not sure whether it was 372 Victoria Street, which later housed Diabetes Australia, or 374 Victoria Street, which later became the R.M.O. He then purchased these 2 paintings as treasured memories of his family history.
"Victoria st terraces Nos 372 - 374 
- the Diabetes Centre and the RMO" 
2009 oil on canvas 51 x 41cm
$2,400
SOLD

Enquiries about similar paintings:
janecooperbennett@gmail.com  

"Victoria st terraces - Diabetes Australia" 
2009 oil on canvas 31 x 31cm
$990 SOLD 
Enquiries about similar paintings:
janecooperbennett@gmail.com  

'Victoria Street mural and the clinic'
 2010 oil on canvas 38 x 76cm
$3,300SOLD 
Enquiries about similar paintings:
janecooperbennett@gmail.com   
Now I have heard that the purchaser of "Victoria Street mural and the clinic" intends to bequeath it to the hospital, where it will stay in the office as "an important reminder of our past".
 Often I never get to discover the reasons why someone buys one of my paintings. I love to find their story about the place that has such meaning for them.
When I painted these works, I had received so many lovely comments from the patients and staff of the terraces and clinic, who had loved the World Aids Day mural and the surrounding buildings.
It means a lot to an artist for their artwork to be appreciated by someone with a personal connection to the subject matter. What I do really matters to me, rather than being some intellectual painterly exercise.
Often I have been asked "why do I paint the particular subjects that I do?". I struggle to find the exact words to describe the feelings that I have, as I am a much better painter than I am a writer, but the fate of these paintings goes right to the core of my reasons.
The first two paintings have filled in a missing chapter of someone's lost personal history. The painting of the mural and the clinic will now hang forever as a symbol of hope and recovery.

Related articles

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

ATP Open Day - Saturday, 25 Feb 2012

Just wanted to let you know about the forthcoming Open Day, to be held at the Australian Technology Park on 25 February, 2012 from 10 am - 4 pm which includes a large range of heritage related events.
The inaugural Eveleigh Film Festival will commence a little earlier at 9.30 am with a tribute to JP McGowan, the son of an Eveleigh Railway steam locomotive driver who made many railway related films in Hollywood in the early 1900’s.
oil painting of blacksmith from 'Wrought Artworks' at the Australian Technology Park, Eveleigh Railway workshops by industrial heritage artist Jane Bennett
“Blacksmith of 'Wrought Artworks', Eveleigh Railway Workshops” 
2009 oil on canvas 100 x 75cm
 $7,700
 Enquiries about this painting:
janecooperbennett@gmail.com
                                  
In Bay 1 / 2 I will be exhibiting a selection of my paintings of the blacksmiths of Wrought Artworks on the very site on which they were painted.

The blacksmiths will be giving hand forging demonstrations on the anvil every half hour.
At 11 am and 2pm the Master Blacksmith Guido Gouvernor will give a spectacular demonstration of forging using the massive Victorian era heritage power hammers. I will be painting canvases to record these exciting events as they happen.
oil painting of blacksmith from 'Wrought Artworks' at the Australian Technology Park, Eveleigh Railway workshops by industrial heritage artist Jane Bennett
"The Forging Demonstration - All fired up"
2011 oil on canvas 36 x 46cm
$1800
Enquiries about this painting:
janecooperbennett@gmail.com
oil painting of blacksmith from 'Wrought Artworks' at the Australian Technology Park, Eveleigh Railway workshops by industrial heritage artist Jane Bennett
My half - finished canvas of the blacksmith forging a chisel. 
 Enquiries about this painting:
janecooperbennett@gmail.com

This is a close up detail of the large canvas (183 x 122cm) showing the tension and concentration on the face of Chris as he quenches the white-hot chisel in the water trough.
oil painting of blacksmith from 'Wrought Artworks' at the Australian Technology Park, Eveleigh Railway workshops by industrial heritage artist Jane Bennett
My half - finished canvas of the blacksmith forging a chisel. 
Enquiries about this painting:
janecooperbennett@gmail.com

This shows the entire canvas against the background of this atmospheric time capsule of a bygone era.

oil painting of blacksmith from 'Wrought Artworks' at the Australian Technology Park, Eveleigh Railway workshops by industrial heritage artist Jane Bennett
My half - finished canvas of the blacksmith forging a chisel.
Enquiries about this painting:
janecooperbennett@gmail.com

 This shows  even more of the interior and the fascinating relics of the Industrial Revolution. Most of the machines are still in working order, as they have been lovingly cared for by the blacksmiths of Wrought Artworks.
These photos show my half finished large canvas of Chris Sulis, one of the blacksmiths quenching a chisel which he had just forged with one of the majestic Victorian era power hammers, which can be seen lurking in the background of the horizontal photo.
The forges of Bay 1/2, Australian Technology Park, Eveleigh Railway Workshops have been kept glowing for over 140 years!


plein air oil painting of the heritage steam locomotive 3801 at the Large Erecting Shop, Eveleigh Railway workshops by industrial heritage artist Jane Bennett
The 3801 steaming” 
2008 oil on canvas 36 x 28cm
$1,100
 Enquiries about this painting:
janecooperbennett@gmail.com 

plein air oil painting of the heritage steam locomotive "18" at the Large Erecting Shop, Eveleigh Railway workshops by industrial heritage artist Jane Bennett
'The 'SMR 18'-interior of Large Erecting Shop' 
2007 oil on canvas 51 x 76cm
$4,200
Enquiries about this painting:
janecooperbennett@gmail.com

There will be a steam train, SMR 18, displayed near Channel 7 by the volunteers from 3801 limited (see www.3801limited.com.au for more details)
 I will also exhibit a selection of my paintings of the steam trains of the Large Erecting Shop nearby. 
I have included a canvas of SMR 18 inside the Large Erecting Shop in my exhibition.

For more information please see http://www.atpopenday.com.au/heritage

You can find further details at the following websites:

http://www.atpopenday.com.au/ http://eveleigh-film-fest.com/

FREE ADMISSION - FREE ONSITE PARKING OR COME BY RAIL

ENTRANCE - HENDERSON ROAD, ALEXANDRIA

HOW TO GET HERE


Hope to see you on the 25th February!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Both sides of the street - My new exhibition "St Vincent's -In the Art of Darlinghurst"

Hanging my exhibition St Vincent's -In the Art of Darlinghurst
Enquiries about these paintings:
janecooperbennett@gmail.com

exhibition of plein air oil paintings of Sydney by industrial artist Jane Bennett
Hanging my exhibition St Vincent's -In the Art of Darlinghurst
Enquiries about these paintings:
janecooperbennett@gmail.com

exhibition of plein air oil paintings of Sydney by industrial artist Jane Bennett
Hanging my exhibition St Vincent's -In the Art of Darlinghurst
Enquiries about these paintings:
janecooperbennett@gmail.com
exhibition of plein air oil paintings of Sydney by industrial artist Jane Bennett
Hanging my exhibition St Vincent's -In the Art of Darlinghurst
Enquiries about these paintings:
janecooperbennett@gmail.com


exhibition of plein air oil paintings of Sydney by industrial artist Jane Bennett
Hanging my exhibition St Vincent's -In the Art of Darlinghurst
Enquiries about these paintings:
janecooperbennett@gmail.com


exhibition of plein air oil paintings of Sydney by industrial artist Jane Bennett
Hanging my exhibition St Vincent's -In the Art of Darlinghurst
Enquiries about these paintings:
janecooperbennett@gmail.com

exhibition of plein air oil paintings of Sydney by industrial artist Jane Bennett
Hanging my exhibition St Vincent's -In the Art of Darlinghurst
Enquiries about these paintings:
janecooperbennett@gmail.com
In this exhibition I have hung 16 paintings of Victoria Street.
As the Xavier Art Space is a long corridor, I decided to add another 16 or so paintings of other inner city streetscapes.
Most of these other paintings whether of Pyrmont, White Bay, Surry Hills, Darlinghurst or Waterloo seem to be of pubs or former pubs. Derelict pubs like the Terminus, recently closed pubs like the Hopetoun, pubs that were burnt down in the dead of night under mysterious circumstances like the White Bay Hotel, or pubs that had a narrow escape from these fates and are enjoying a precarious Renaissance like the Iron Duke. There are also 2 paintings of the half-demolished Carleton United Brewery.
A minor irony was that Dr Robert Graham, who had kindly agreed to open my exhibition, was the head of Drug and Alcohol Treatment. Another minor irony is that I am (and have always been) a teetotaller.

exhibition of plein air oil paintings of Sydney by industrial artist Jane Bennett
Hanging my exhibition St Vincent's -In the Art of Darlinghurst
Enquiries about these paintings:
janecooperbennett@gmail.com

exhibition of plein air oil paintings of Sydney by industrial artist Jane Bennett
Hanging my exhibition St Vincent's -In the Art of Darlinghurst
Enquiries about these paintings:
janecooperbennett@gmail.com

exhibition of plein air oil paintings of Sydney by industrial artist Jane Bennett
Hanging my exhibition St Vincent's -In the Art of Darlinghurst
Enquiries about these paintings:
janecooperbennett@gmail.com


exhibition of plein air oil paintings of Sydney by industrial artist Jane Bennett
Hanging my exhibition St Vincent's -In the Art of Darlinghurst
Enquiries about these paintings:
janecooperbennett@gmail.com

All of the paintings in this exhibition were painted "en plein air". Most of the art of other plein air painters concentrates on the natural environment and seems to be painted in a field or a wood. I prefer to paint inner city urban landscapes and all my art that hasn't been painted on a wharf, a ship or a demolition site, is painted by the side of the road.
"By the side of the road " is the common idiom, however this road was actually a street. "On the road" sounds almost romantic, evoking the ghost of Jack Keroac, whereas "on the street" has an air of desperation. I am often "on the road" when I paint - my car is a mobile studio with a fold-up table and chair and a French box easel in the boot at all times. I am not a "street" artist in the sense of a graffiti artist such as "Banksy", as I take my paintings home when I have finished painting them, although I bet that I spend a lot more time actually painting in the street. According to one definition Street Art  is traditionally unsanctioned  as opposed to a government funded initiatives . The artist attempts to have their work communicate with everyday people about socially relevant themes by placing their work in non-art contexts. In that sense, my art is definitely "street".

Many years ago a witless journalist stunned me into silence during a radio interview. After hearing a description of how I explored Sydney's urban landscapes outdoors instead of painting in my studio from photos, he turned the interview into farce by describing my art as  "streetwalking".
English can be a dangerous language full of traps for the unwary.
The word "street" I discovered has some odd quirks of meaning aside from its obvious use as a word for a paved thouroughfare. Some of these carry a lot of pejorative nuances.

Definitions of "Street"
  1.  a situation offering opportunities ("He worked both sides of the street")
  2.  as a depressed environment in which there is poverty and crime and prostitution and dereliction ("She tried to keep her children off the street")
  3. The people who spend a great deal of time on the street in urban areas, especially the young, the poor, the unemployed, and those engaged in illegal activities.
  4. (slang) Street talk or slang. 
  5. (figuratively) a large amount ("He's streets ahead of his sister in all the subjects in school.")
  6. (poker slang) Each of the 3 opportunities that players have to bet, after the flop, turn and river.
  7. Illicit, contraband, especially of a drug:e.g. "street drugs". 
  8. not in prison, or released from prison. ("He's on the street again after leaving Long Bay jail")
  9. Without a home; without the means to afford good shelter.
  10. without a job or occupation; idle.

The term "street" is used with the preposition "in". Something is "in" the street, but "in" or "on" the road. To be "on the street" means to be living an insecure life, often one associated with homelessness or crime. To "hear something on the street" means to learn about something through rumor.
In the Middle Ages, a road or way was merely a direction in which people rode or went, the name street was always reserved for the built road.
The "Man in the street" meaning the ordinary non-expert person, is first recorded in 1831. Street-car is first recorded 1862. Street-walker "common prostitute" first recorded 1590s. Street people is first recorded 1967; street smarts is from 1972; and street-credibility is from 1979.

  The good and bad points of the urban environment are captured by the many meanings of the term "street" . It carries a feeling of fast-paced opportunity, reality and authenticity - but also uncertainty, edginess, decay and even a whiff of danger.

All the photos in this post were kindly taken by Frances Keevil, Director of the Frances Keevil Gallery, who also did most of the work hanging my show
Update

The redoubtable flaneur and photographer Julie of "Sydney Eye" took some great photos at the opening of my exhibition which can be seen at "The poof factor"