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

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

This is how the light gets in

“Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.”

“Anthem,” by Leonard Cohen from his 1992 album The Future.

plein air oil painting of windows in the Large Erecting Shop in the Eveleigh Railway Workshops by industrial heritage artist Jane Bennett
Starting a small square canvas 46 x 46cm of two windows and a door in the Large Erecting Shop, Eveleigh Railway Workshops
Enquiries : janecooperbennett@gmail.com

These are healing words to someone who often struggles under the unbearable weight of perfectionism. It is more than a confrontation with the strange beauty of broken things. It is a powerful message of hope in dark times.There is a crack in everything whether a physical object such as a piece of machinery, or even a state of mind.But that’s where the light gets in, and that’s where we can find the transcendence we need to interpret painful events in a wider context.
Literally, nothing, and nobody is perfect.That should not be a source of despair or frustration. Imperfection is a sign of life.
plein air oil painting of windows in the Large Erecting Shop in the Eveleigh Railway Workshops by industrial heritage artist Jane Bennett
Starting a small square canvas 46 x 46cm of two windows and a door in the Large Erecting Shop, Eveleigh Railway Workshops
Enquiries : janecooperbennett@gmail.com
 
If the purpose of a window is to be able to let an observer see outside, or to illuminate the interior, the windows of the Large Erecting Shop of the Eveleigh Railway Workshops fail spectacularly.
plein air oil painting of windows in the Large Erecting Shop in the Eveleigh Railway Workshops by industrial heritage artist Jane Bennett
'2 windows and a door in the Large Erecting Shop, Eveleigh Railway Workshops' 2017 oil on canvas 46 x 46cm
Enquiries : janecooperbennett@gmail.com
 
However, the evocative effects created by sunlight filtering through the grid of rusty bars rival the stained glass of Chartres Cathedral.
plein air oil painting of windows in the Large Erecting Shop in the Eveleigh Railway Workshops by industrial heritage artist Jane Bennett
'2 windows and a door in the Large Erecting Shop, Eveleigh Railway Workshops' 2017 oil on canvas 46 x 46cm
Enquiries : janecooperbennett@gmail.com
 
Every pane is a unique mix of translucency and texture.
plein air oil painting of windows in the Large Erecting Shop in the Eveleigh Railway Workshops by industrial heritage artist Jane Bennett
Starting a 91 x 61cm canvas of the strange green window. The completed  painting  " '2 windows and a door, Large Erecting Shop, Eveleigh Railway Workshops' 2017 oil on canvas 46 x 46cm" is against the barrier behind.
Enquiries : janecooperbennett@gmail.com

Their ethereal opalescent quality is not caused by expensive designer frosting, but by more than a century's buildup of deposits of dirt, pigeon droppings, steam and diesel fumes.
plein air oil painting of windows in the Large Erecting Shop in the Eveleigh Railway Workshops by industrial heritage artist Jane Bennett
Starting a 91 x 61cm canvas of the strange green window.
 Enquiries : janecooperbennett@gmail.com
 
 And there are cracks galore.

plein air oil painting of windows in the Large Erecting Shop in the Eveleigh Railway Workshops by industrial heritage artist Jane Bennett
Starting a 91 x 61cm canvas of the strange green window.
 Enquiries : janecooperbennett@gmail.com
 
 Other imperfections abound.

plein air oil painting of windows in the Large Erecting Shop in the Eveleigh Railway Workshops by industrial heritage artist Jane Bennett
Half finished 91 x 61cm canvas of the strange green window. The completed  painting of " '2 windows and a door in the Large Erecting Shop, Eveleigh Railway Workshops' 2017 oil on canvas 46 x 46cm" can be seen on the right.
 Enquiries : janecooperbennett@gmail.com
 
Ghost signs warning of the dangers of long lost machinery alternate with boarded over panes in abstract patterns that would make Mondriaan's head spin.

plein air oil painting of windows in the Large Erecting Shop in the Eveleigh Railway Workshops by industrial heritage artist Jane Bennett
Half finished 91 x 61cm canvas of the strange green window.
 Enquiries : janecooperbennett@gmail.com

 Doors are abruptly cut into them, apparently at random.

plein air oil painting of windows in the Large Erecting Shop in the Eveleigh Railway Workshops by industrial heritage artist Jane Bennett
Half finished 91 x 61cm canvas of the strange green window.
 Enquiries : janecooperbennett@gmail.com
 
An inexplicably green pane of glass casts an eerie phosphorescent glow.

plein air oil painting of windows in the Large Erecting Shop in the Eveleigh Railway Workshops by industrial heritage artist Jane Bennett
 "Window with pane of green glass" 2017  oil on canvas 91 x 61cm
 Enquiries : janecooperbennett@gmail.com

When the Large Erecting Shop is redeveloped, the windows will be replaced with uncracked clear panes to match the rest of the gentrified ATP.
No rogue panes of eldritch green glass will startle the viewer with their otherworldly light. They will be made safe, watertight, functional, identical and boring.
The chaotic jumble of heritage machinery in the Large Erecting Shop will be culled and tamed. There will be nothing accidental, mysterious or inexplicable.
There will soon be no cracks left to let the light in.
More paintings of the Eveleigh Railway Workshops are on the Eveleigh page of this blog. 

 

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