12th December 2016

David Bent Art Print Salutes C-130 Operations, Partnership

Okay listeners – here’s a link to a press release from Lockheed Martin: http://www.lockheedmartin.co.uk/us/news/features/2016/GivingProps.html – about the David Bent art print salutes C-130

Now before you start to wonder why I’m putting this on a Swindon-Centric blog there’s a good reason: David Bent – a Swindon resident for some 20 year or so now. Ergo – like me – a Born again Swindonian.

David Bent Art Print Salutes C-130
Famed aviation artist David Bent stands in front of a C-130 Hercules at the 2016 Royal International Air Tattoo.

Well known, nay renowned, for his aviation art, David has produced an art work in celebration of a half-century partnership between RAF Marshal Aerospace & Defence and Lockheed Martin – the manufacturer of the Hercules C130.

Said David about his artwork: “I hope people are pleased and uplifted by this artwork, and that it is a positive reflection of all the hard work and ingenuity put into [the C-130] through 50 years of collaboration,” Bent said. “Pieces of art have their own lives and I hope this one has a long and happy one.”

David Bent Studio: http://davidbentstudio.com

David is a tremendously talented artist, somewhat under-celebrated in this town – and that’s my own personal opinion.

Though not by this particular blogger and certainly not by others beyond Swindon. As you’ll see if you read this extract from the above mentioned press release – though the entire thing is an interesting read.

Not only am I of the belief that David should be celebrated because of his artistic talent but because of his many contributions to the town’s artistic landscape. But the listeners would be another post entirely. So to the point of this one:

One Artist: Many Talents

It’s often said that the C-130 Hercules is one aircraft that supports many missions. That sentiment can also be applied to Bent, who is truly one artist with many talents. 

Bent’s portfolio is wide ranging from “aerobots” to landscape geometry. He is creatively fluent across many different media and approaches, including painting, photography, graphic arts and printmaking. 

David Bent’s Influences

His influences are also wide-ranging, including American pop artists like Andy Warhol and fellow Englishmen including Paul Nash and David Hockney. All regarded as leaders in their genres.

A glimpse into Bent’s significant collection of work reflects his many interests and influences, both in muses and mediums. Aerospace, however, remains a dominant and constant theme.

His interest in aviation is linked directly to his father, an aircraft enthusiast, expert aeromodeller and, in his early days, a junior technician supporting Sir Alan Cobham’s “Flying Circus” aviation displays that were part of the UK skies in the 1930s.

“He just knew every airplane that flew the skies,” Bent said. “By the time my brother and I were 5-years-old, we were taught to observe aircraft and we knew almost every aircraft that flew the skies.”

His brother retired as a RAF wing commander, while Bent himself went off to art college. But, his love of aviation was never lost.

“[Aviation] is partly an academic interest for me,” he said. “But, I genuinely love the whole industry and much about it. It’s cutting edge, forward looking, high tech. It’s a great subject that I’m very happy to promote to younger artists as a relevant subject.”

An Aviation Icon On An Aviation Icon 

Bent is viewed as one of the world’s leading modern aviation artists and beloved by the UK aviation community.

His awards and recognitions are expansive, ranging from a year long solo exhibition at the Royal Air Force Museum, London, to being awarded “Honorary Companion of the Royal Aeronautical Society,” which is the organization’s highest distinction to those who have made a significant contribution to the aerospace profession. He’s been referred to the artist most “closely associated with the Red Arrows,” the RAF’s Aerobatic team. Bent is also closely connected to RIAT, through his exhibitions at the event and the commemorative prints created for UK events.

His works include almost every kind of aircraft to grace the skies. Stealth 5th Generation fighters. Vulcans. Tornados. Drones. Harriers. Spitfires. The Concorde. The Red Arrows. And the Hercules.

The C-130 has surfaced in several of Bent’s pieces and collections, starting with a piece entitled, “Spinning Hercules.”

The Hercules

“I was working on my first aviation collection when I took the straight on photograph of the Hercules,” he said. “By doubling it, it became a very striking image.”

The Hercules also features within Bent’s “Tribute” and “Transport Command” collections.

So, what has drawn him to immortalize the C-130 in his art? Is it the Herc’s rugged good looks? Purposeful design? Versatility? Or, the place that it holds in many hearts? All of those things, actually, according to the artist.

“The Hercules, of course, is an iconic aircraft,” Bent said. “In the case of the Hercules, form follows function. Like the Bauhaus mantra. Obviously aircraft have special purposes and the Hercules proves that it gets the job done. It’s got character, lots of variants and many different uses.”

While Bent has spent time inside a few Hercs to learn more about that aforementioned function and form, he’s also spent many days with it flying overhead. His home and studio are located between two RAF bases: RAF Brize Norton (where the RAF’s C-130 fleet is currently operated out of) and RAF Lynham (where the RAF’s C-130 was previously operated out of prior to its closing in 2012).

“[The Hercules] has been a dependable mainstay of the RAF transport command for many years,” Bent said. “It’s certainly well-loved in this country — and around the world.”

*Hon CRAeS is Honorary Companion of the Royal Aeronautical Society. David Bent is the first artist in 30 years to be awarded this title. 

See also about David Bent:

David Bent Chooses Swindon

And I surely can’t be the only person in Swindon – a town with a charity like the Harbour Project, a town with City of Sanctuary status, that thinks these art works by David ought to be obtained for the museum and art gallery? I mean – it’s a no brainer  surely?

Movement 2000: https://swindonian.me/2015/11/02/movement-2000-art-collection-seeks-home/

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