(Australia, England, Spain, Portugal 21 Jan 1928– )
264.5 x 274.0cm board
Five bells was my first commission to paint in situ to cover a wall … I didn’t hesitate. I brushed a line around the core theme, the seed-burst, the life-burst, the sea-harbour, the source of life. Inside and around this core, I painted images drawn from metaphors and similes in [Kenneth] Slessor’s poem of our harbour city, and from my own emotional and physical involvement with the harbour, and with my young family in Watsons Bay …
I wanted to show the Harbour as a movement, a sea suck, and the sound of the water as though I am part of the sea ... The painting says directly what I wanted to say: ‘I am in the sea-harbour, and the sea-harbour is in me’.
John Olsen, 1999
Edmund Capon (England; Australia, b.1940) (Author), Art Gallery of New South Wales: highlights from the collection, Sydney, 2008, 104-105 (colour illus.).
'Paintings that find works for the land' by Steve Meacham, pg. 15., The Sydney Morning Herald 13 Oct 2004, 13 Oct 2004, 15 (colour illus.).
'Presenting our own artists: how the AGS put balance into the Australian collection' by Barry Pearce, pg. 42-44., Look: 1953-2003 celebrating 50 years May 2003, May 2003, 44.
'Critic's choice: John Olsen Five Bells' by Benjamin Genocchio, pg. 392-393., Art and Australia (Vol. 38, No. 3) Mar 2001-May 2001, Mar 2001-May 2001, 392, 393 (colour illus.).
'Harbouring various delights' by Benjamin Genocchio, pg. 23., The Weekend Australian 09 Sep 2000-10 Sep 2000, 09 Sep 2000-10 Sep 2000, 23 (colour illus.). Review of 'Australian Icons' exhibition.
'Time makes its judgment' by Barry Pearce, pg. 2-3., The Weekend Australian 12 Aug 2000-13 Aug 2000, 12 Aug 2000-13 Aug 2000, 3 (colour illus.). This colour supplement is a 'Review Special' published for the 'Weekend Australian'. It consists of a four-page, colour wrap-around for the 'Weekend Australian Review'. 'The Australian' was the media sponsor for the AGNSW Exhibition 'Australian Icons', for the Olympic Arts Festival 2000.
'Australian Icons at the Art Gallery of New South Wales', pg, 4-5., Australian artist Aug 2000, Aug 2000, 5 (colour illus.).
'Master strokes' by Elizabeth Foretscue, pg. 124., Daily telegraph 22 Jul 2000, 22 Jul 2000, 124. Review of the 'Australian Icons' exhibition.
Barry Pearce (Australia) (Author), Australian art: in the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Domain, 2000, 12 (colour illus.), 16, 301.
'Year in review', pg. 8-20., Art Gallery of New South Wales Annual Report 2000 2000, 2000, 8, 19 (colour illus.).
'A year of gifts to the Gallery' by Judith White, pg. 16., Look Dec 1999-Jan 2000, Dec 1999-Jan 2000, 16 (colour illus.).
'Art market: Sales of the century' by Terry Ingram, pg.270-275., Art and Australia (Vol. 37, No. 2) Dec 1999-Feb 2000, Dec 1999-Feb 2000, 275 (colour illus.).
'Five bells', Look Nov 1999, Nov 1999, 7, 20- 21 (colour illus.).
'Message from the President of the Art Gallery Society' by Prue Allen, pg. 6., Look Oct 1999, Oct 1999, 6.
The Sydney Morning Herald 09 Aug 1999, 09 Aug 1999.
'Runaway record' by Debra Aldred, Courier Mail 07 Aug 1999, 07 Aug 1999, (illus.).
'Randwick prices hint at bolting market' by Terry Ingram., The Australian financial review 05 Aug 1999, 05 Aug 1999.
'Olsen felt 'rush of blood' ' by Peter Cochrane, The Sydney Morning Herald 05 Aug 1999, 05 Aug 1999.
Goodmans Fine Art Auctioneers and Valuers (Australia) (Australia, closed 2003) (Compilator), Australian and European Paintings 3rd August 1999: Goodmans- Fine Art Auctioners and Valuers, Double Bay, Aug 1999, cover (colour illus.), colour illus.. no pagination, lot. no. 95
'Water of life' by Anabel Dean, The Bulletin with Newsweek 13 Jul 1999, 13 Jul 1999, 116 (illlus.).
'Sensitive guys at art' by Melissa Hayer, Sunday telegraph 11 Jul 1999, 11 Jul 1999, 201 (illus.).
'A tale of five bells: Olsen's seminal harbour scene comes into view' by Ben Holgate, The Australian 06 Jul 1999, 06 Jul 1999, 5 (illus.).
Arts show report Jul 1999, Jul 1999, (illus.).
Deborah Hart (South Africa; United Kingdom; Australia, b.1959) (Author), John Olsen, East Roseville, 1991, 78 (colour illus.), 79, 113, 114. cat.no. 48
Sandra McGrath (United States of America; Australia) (Author), Robert Walker (Photographer), Sydney Harbour Paintings from 1794, Milton, 1979, 86 (colour illus.). cat.no. 77 This publication refered to this work as "Five bells No. 1".
Not a job for the boys 1973, 1973, (illus.).
'Sparkle and shade' by Steve Meacham, pg. 10-11., The Sydney Morning Herald 28 Jan 2012-29 Jan 2012, 28 Jan 2012-29 Jan 2012, 10.
Sydney Harbour 1794-1979, S.H. Ervin Gallery, 03 Aug 1979–26 Aug 1979.
Australian icons: twenty artists from the collection, Art Gallery of New South Wales, 04 Aug 2000–03 Dec 2000.