CHRIS BENNIE

New Bodies of Water, 2016

Acylic on op-shop paintings and garden stakes
70 x 70 x 170cm

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New Bodies of Water is an ongoing collection of second hand paintings sourced from op-shops between northern New South Wales and Gympie, Queensland. Each painting is an original work of art (no prints are included in the project) painted onto canvas board or MDF. The paintings have unique frames and are mounted on garden stakes for outdoor display. A number of paintings are signed while others remain authorless. Each painting depicts a landscape that includes within it some form of water (river, creek, lake or ocean). Bennie has overpainted these bodies of water in burgundy acrylic paint. Important for Bennie is the potential for overpainting to resurrect discarded pictures and inject them with a potency that may not be immediately apparent inside a Vinnies or Salvo’s store. By overpainting water Bennie amplifies the differences between foreground and background with a colour that evokes new and potentially more tense associations. What was previously benign and unwanted, albeit in some cases technically masterful, has been repurposed with historical and conceptual weight.