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, May 28, 2015

Palimpsest- Painting the abandoned Dunlop-Slazenger Factory

A palimpsest is a manuscript or piece of writing material on which later writing has been superimposed on effaced earlier writing.


29-04-15 Starting my first canvas of the Dunlop-Slazenger factory. I don't know what the image is of or what it's called, so I've christened it "Yellow Eye"
The word is also used for something worked upon for one purpose and later reused or altered but still bearing visible traces of its earlier form.
plein air painting of abandoned Dunlop-Slazenger factory in Alexandria by industrial heritage artist Jane Bennett
"Yellow Eye" oil on canvas 75 x 100cm
plein air painting of abandoned Dunlop-Slazenger factory in Alexandria by industrial heritage artist Jane Bennett
"Yellow Eye" oil on canvas 75 x 100cm
The walls of the abandoned Dunlop-Slazenger Factory are a palimpsest - a fascinating mix of both creation and destruction. It's an insight into the way different generations alter the landscape of their ancestors.
The factory is full of ghosts.
plein air painting of abandoned Dunlop-Slazenger factory in Alexandria by industrial heritage artist Jane Bennett
"Yellow Eye" oil on canvas 75 x 100cm
 I've recently been painting both inside and outside the abandoned Dunlop-Slazenger factory in Alexandria. 
It has been abandoned for about 25 years, and has innumerable layers of graffiti ranging from the sublimely talented to the ridiculously inept.
plein air painting of abandoned Dunlop-Slazenger factory in Alexandria by industrial heritage artist Jane Bennett
"Yellow Eye" oil on canvas 75 x 100cm

On the second day of painting this canvas, I changed the composition to include the bizarre cartoon characters on the upper walls. There is a grotesque creature which is part baboon part wildebeast and part crocodile with wriggling worm-like hair, and two characters resembling demonic smurfs.
The glass has also been tagged, and the rays of the setting sun make it light up like the stained glass of Chartres cathedral.
plein air painting of abandoned Dunlop-Slazenger factory in Alexandria by industrial heritage artist Jane Bennett
"Yellow Eye" oil on canvas 75 x 100cm
The building is now being sand-blasted back to the original brick and will be redeveloped for apartments.
plein air painting of abandoned Dunlop-Slazenger factory in Alexandria by industrial heritage artist Jane Bennett
"Yellow Eye" oil on canvas 75 x 100cm
Such is progress, alas.

My extremely fashionable painting outfit. Lady Gaga will be copying this soon!

Painting in PPE (Personal protective equipment) I'm so protected I can hardly breathe.