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, June 24, 2015

Illuminated manuscripts and stained glass windows- Painting the Dunlop - Slazenger factory Part 2

The graffiti inside the abandoned Dunlop - Slazenger factory reminded me of something, but I couldn't quite remember what it was.
plein air painting of graffiti in the abandoned Dunlop-Slazenger factory by industrial heritage artist Jane Bennett
'Abandoned Dunlop-Slazenger factory Soda panorama' 2015 oil on canvas 91 x 183cm
Enquiries : janecooperbennett@gmail.com
The walls are rich in texture, vibrant in colour and elaborate in detail. They are possibly full of hidden meanings, incomprehensible to the uninitiated, or it could be just random doodling.
plein air painting of graffiti in the abandoned Dunlop-Slazenger factory by industrial heritage artist Jane Bennett
'Abandoned Dunlop-Slazenger factory Soda panorama' 2015 oil on canvas 91 x 183cm
Enquiries : janecooperbennett@gmail.com 

The calligraphy is cursive and the chunky letters are interlocked like links in a chain, making the words hard to read yet hypnotic to look at.
plein air painting of graffiti in the abandoned Dunlop-Slazenger factory by industrial heritage artist Jane Bennett
'Abandoned Dunlop - Slazenger factory - 'Soda' panorama'  2015  oil on canvas 91 x 183cm
Enquiries : janecooperbennett@gmail.com 
There is a "horror vacui" - blank space isn't tolerated and won't last long.
Images are scattered throughout the factory, but the text dominates and has become imagery in its own right.
plein air painting of graffiti in the abandoned Dunlop-Slazenger factory by industrial heritage artist Jane Bennett
'Abandoned Dunlop - Slazenger factory - 'Soda' panorama'  2015  oil on canvas 91 x 183cm
Enquiries : janecooperbennett@gmail.com 
The letters are outlined in black, often with highlights of white or red on the ascenders (the parts of letters such as "h" "b" or "d" that extend above the line)  or descenders (the parts of letters such as "g" "q" or "j" that extend below the line) . Occasionally backgrounds of gold or silver add a bit more bling and some are even adorned with star bursts.
plein air painting of graffiti in the abandoned Dunlop-Slazenger factory by industrial heritage artist Jane Bennett
'Abandoned Dunlop - Slazenger factory - 'Soda' panorama'  2015  oil on canvas 91 x 183cm
Enquiries : janecooperbennett@gmail.com 

John Paul, the demolisher who had given me the heads up about the site, finally nailed it.
The Book of Kells, he said. (John Paul is Irish!)
plein air painting of graffiti in the abandoned Dunlop-Slazenger factory by industrial heritage artist Jane Bennett
 Detail of 'Abandoned Dunlop - Slazenger factory - 'Soda' panorama'  2015  oil on canvas 91 x 183cm
Enquiries : janecooperbennett@gmail.com 
This is a close up of my painting of the graffiti on left hand wall, and you can see that John Paul really had a point. In another context, I could easily imagine one of the letters as a historiated initial in a medieval illuminated manuscript. A historiated initial is an enlarged letter at the beginning of a text, which contains a picture.
plein air painting of graffiti in the abandoned Dunlop-Slazenger factory by industrial heritage artist Jane Bennett
Detail of 'Abandoned Dunlop - Slazenger factory - 'Soda' panorama'  2015  oil on canvas 91 x 183cm
Enquiries : janecooperbennett@gmail.com 
This is a closeup detail of my painting of the graffiti in one of the small rooms to the left hand side. This font is dramatically serif (there is a large difference between thick and thin lines) and is extravagantly embellished with finials( tapered or curved ends), swashes (extended  decorative flourishes)and lachrymals (teardrop shapes).
plein air painting of graffiti in the abandoned Dunlop-Slazenger factory by industrial heritage artist Jane Bennett
 Detail of 'Abandoned Dunlop - Slazenger factory - 'Soda' panorama'  2015  oil on canvas 91 x 183cm
Enquiries : janecooperbennett@gmail.com 
Many different hands have been at work here, overlapping and adding marginalia, drolleries and the odd obscenity.
 "Soda" has been written in a more "slab serif" style, where there is less difference between thick and thin lines.This tag stands out from its neighbours due to its cleaner font as well as its striking silver, black and pink colour scheme.
plein air painting of graffiti in the abandoned Dunlop-Slazenger factory by industrial heritage artist Jane Bennett
 Detail of windows in 'Abandoned Dunlop - Slazenger factory - 'Soda' panorama'  2015  oil on canvas 91 x 183cm
Enquiries : janecooperbennett@gmail.com 
And what could go better with illuminated manuscripts, than stained glass windows?
These windows are very stained indeed. The graffiti is probably much older than on the walls, as they would have only been accessible when the building still had a roof, which was at least a couple of years ago.
There is no lead separating the colours, however, being a factory, the windows were made from glass strengthened by an internal diamond grid of wiremesh. Breaks in the glass add spiderweb patterns.
At sunset the window colours are reflected on the ground in a series of rainbows, an effect I last experienced visiting Chartres cathedral.
plein air painting of graffiti in the abandoned Dunlop-Slazenger factory by industrial heritage artist Jane Bennett
'Abandoned Dunlop - Slazenger factory - 'Soda' panorama'   2015                   oil on canvas 91 x 183cm                                        Enquiries : janecooperbennett@gmail.com
'Palimpsest - Painting the abandoned Dunlop - Slazenger factory' Part 1

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