Croc Pond

Forked tongue paintingScott Bennett | 1993 | Acrylic and beeswax encaustic on plywood | Image: Collection of the QCA Visual Archive | Artwork: Private collection

This work was selected by the Provost and Director Ian Howard for inclusion in the Queensland College of Art visual database.

I imagined that these images would be stored in a dusty filing cabinet and never see the light of day. I was thrilled to learn recently that the archive is in regular use by current students and that mine was particularly popular.

This painting grew out of my Gentle Prayer for the East series. I was particularly influenced by the historical and art-historical aspect of the works of Gordon Bennett and the American Jasper Johns at that time.

Coincidentally, I was just re-reading this (May 2009) and noticed/remembered for the first time that my father’s name is also Gordon Bennett. I was well aware that my dad shared his name with a famous/infamous Australian General, depending on your interpretation of history.

My father was a solider in the great battles to defend Singapore. Latter he became a prisoner and spent time in Changi before being transported to the work camps on the Burma-Thai railway, where he survived several years as a prisoner of war.

I look at this painting now, and think how sweet was my emotion, how clear and now I feel how terrible suffering is for everyone.

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