Jane Bennett 'Closing the gap'
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Jane Bennett 'Closing the gap'

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Art Exhibition by Jane Bennett, of the industrial heritage of Sydney’s Working Harbour including Paintings and Drawings of the construction of the Anzac Bridge & other sites in Pyrmont,Cockatoo Island & White Bay.

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Jane Bennett 'Closing the gap' Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Jane Bennett Art exhibition “ Closing the Gap” Frances Keevil Galleries 18th May-1st June 2010 Bay Village 28-34 Cross St Double Bay NSW 2028 Tel: 61 + 2 9327 2475 [email_address] http://www.franceskeevilart.com.au/Jane_Bennett.htm
  • 2. About the Artist...
    •  
    • Diploma of Arts 1982 
    • Post Graduate Diploma in Professional Art Studies at C.O.F.A., University of N.S.W. 1983
    • 28 solo exhibitions & included in many group exhibitions.
    • Won over 120 art prizes, & many major commissions for government & corporate clients.
    • A major retrospective of Jane’s work was the signature event of the 2006 Industrial Heritage Festival of the National Trust of Australia.
    • http://www.nsw.nationaltrust.org.au/events/janebennett
    • A canvas painted from the top of the A.N.Z.A.C. Bridge is now in the "ONE Hundred" exhibition of 100 iconic objects  to celebrate the centenary of the Mitchell Library, State Library of N.S.W
    •  
    http://www.onehundred.sl.nsw.gov.au/100-objects/Exhibit-095.aspx
  • 3. Major Awards & Prizes
      • Received the Marten Bequest Travelling Art Scholarship for Painting in 1996 & awarded the 1996 Dyason Bequest by the Trustees of the Art Gallery of N.S.W. 
    •  
      • In 1997 awarded 3 months residency at the Moya Dyring Studio of the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris by the Trustees of the Art Gallery of N.S.W. , & a further residency at the Studio of the American Academy in Rome.  
    •  
      • Finalist in the 1986,1997 & 2008 Sulman Prize for Genre/History Painting 5 times a finalist in the Dobell Prize for Drawing; 6 times a finalist in the Wynne Prize for Landscape, winning the 1990, 1995 & 1996 Pring Prize for Watercolour & the 1995 Trustees’ Prize for Watercolour in the Wynne Prize, Art Gallery of N.S.W. 
    •  
      •   In 2004 received the inaugural Sydney Harbour Week Award for artistic achievement.
  • 4. Publications
      • AUSTRALIAN ARTISTS’ INDEX      1986    Jan McDonald
    •  
      • ARTISTS & GALLERIES OF AUSTRALIA    1990    Max Germaine
    •  
      • DICTIONARY OF AUSTRALIAN WOMEN ARTISTS     1991 Max Germaine
    •  
      • MANLY ART GALLERY & MUSEUM NEWS    FEB 1994    Metropolis Now     Michael Pursche
    •  
      • THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF AUSTRALIAN ART  1994 Compiled by Alan McCulloch; 1994 Edition revised  & updated by Susan McCulloch
    •  
      • A VISION REALISED     1998     Mr D. Max Taylor 
    •  
      • SUNCE JUŽNOG NEBA              2003              Zoja Bojić
    •  
      • HARBOURLIFE    2007     Sydney Harbour from the 1940’s      Gavin Wilson
    •                                           
  • 5. Articles & Reviews
      • AUSTRALIAN ARTIST MAGAZINE     FEB 1991
      • THE WEEKEND AUSTRALIAN       11/5/91   Sydney – City to the Fringes     Elwyn Lynn
      • THE SYDNEY MORNING HERALD   11/5/91  The Return to old Forms   Bronwyn Watson
      • THE EASTERN HERALD      18/6/92      Passionate about Pyrmont         Pamela Payne
      • THE WEEKEND AUSTRALIAN    20/6/92   Graphic proofs of print power     Elwyn Lynn
      • THE CANBERRA TIMES    20/7/92      Exhibition Commentary         Sonya Barron
      • HOME BEAUTIFUL    OCT 1992      Beginners’ guide to art collecting        David Tribe
      • NORTH SHORE TIMES       22/9/93    Woman with a mission     Tanya Price
      • THE WEEKEND AUSTRALIAN  20/8/93  Fine art drawn from a limited range   Bruce James
      • THE SYDNEY MORNING HERALD    10/12/93     Metropolis Now       Felicity Fenner
      • MANLY ART GALLERY & MUSEUM NEWS FEB 1994   Metropolis Now   Michael Pursche
      • THE WEEKEND AUSTRALIAN      9/4/94     Eyes on the Prizes       Elwyn Lynn
      • GLEBE & INNER CITY NEWS  17/8/94  Artistic Biography      Scott Tucker
      • THE WEEKEND AUSTRALIAN  3/9/94       Parables’ divine Inspiration   Elwyn Lynn
      • THE TELEGRAPH MIRROR   3/9/94    In Pursuit of Pyrmont      Stewart Hawkins
      • THE SYDNEY MORNING HERALD    9/9/94   Paying Homage to Holden   Felicity Fenner
  • 6. Articles & Reviews continued …
      • ART & AUSTRALIA, Vol 32 No3    1995    Exhibition Commentary
      • THE SYDNEY MORNING HERALD   9/3/96    Archibald & the sex Goddess John McDonald
      • THE SYDNEY MORNING HERALD 9/3/96  Archibald, Wynne & Sulman Peter Cochrane
      • THE WEEKEND AUSTRALIAN    16/3/96     Flawed Genius, good signs  Giles Auty
      • MODERN PAINTERS Summer Edition      1996   Gallery  Karen Wright
      • THE WEEKEND AUSTRALIAN     OCT1996       High on Culture Giles Auty
      • THE WEEKEND AUSTRALIAN    29/3/97    Critical Madhouse Giles Auty
      • GRADUATE REVIEW  Winter/Spring    1997    Reaching the dizzy heights Jane Mundy
      • THE SYDNEY MORNING HERALD     31/12/98    The Blake Prize Sebastian Smee
      • THE AUSTRALIAN REVIEW    2/1/99            God & Glamour Giles Auty
      • THE AUSTRALIAN  REVIEW   27/3/99   Archibald, Wynne & Sulman Prize Giles Auty
      • NORTH SHORE TIMES      19/11/99   Walsh Bay a Winner for Jane !      Mary Powis
      • NORTH SHORE TIMES  6/11/99   Capturing our heritage: Artist races developers  Mary Powis
      • NORTHERN DISTRICT TIMES      27/5/00  Past passions drive artist  Jonathon Granger
      • NORTH SHORE TIMES       2/6/00     Our great Times Art Prize Mary Powis
      • CANBERRA TIMES      25/7/01    A remarkably high standard Sasha Grishin 
      • CANBERRA TIMES       26/7/01       Rocks, paper, flesh Jennifer Kingma
      • NORTH SHORE TIMES      11/10/02        Artist wins top prize Mary Powis
  • 7. Articles & Reviews continued …
      • NORTH SHORE TIMES   21/03/03   Pymble artist beguiled by Harbour moods Mary Powis
      • DISTRICT NEWS        26/08/03        Cityscapes to nudes Tara Commerford
      • MOSMAN DAILY            26/03/03        Ablaze with inspiration Breda Wall
      • THE DAILY TELEGRAPH 13/08/03     Beauty haunts the city’s ruins    Elizabeth Fortescue
      • DISTRICT NEWS        9/09/04          Casting light on local history Bianca Lipari
      • THE DAILY TELEGRAPH  28/09/04   Brush with the city’s saw point Elizabeth Fortescue
      • NORTH SHORE TIMES   15/10/04        All that remains are paintings   Mary Powis
      • SYDNEY MORNING HERALD  DOMAIN     03/03/05      Vanishing act   Jackie Chowns
      • NORTH SHORE TIMES      23/03/05        Timeless tanker a win for Jane   Mary Powis
      • NORTH SHORE TIMES       25/03/05        Art on the move        Mary Powis
      • NORTH SHORE TIMES    15/11/05        Maritime memories    Mary Powis
      • THE OBSERVER        May 2006       The end of Sydney as we know it    Harriet Gollan
      • SYDNEY MORNING HERALD   25/06/07      The end of an era caught on canvas  Steve Meacham
      • THE DAILY TELEGRAPH   29/06/07  Memory lanes              Elizabeth Fortescue
      • INNER WEST COURIER  03/07/07  Painted history of a city’s hidden gems  Menios Constantinou    
      • AUSTRALIAN SEA HERITAGE    91/2007    Recording each passing   Alan Edenborough
      • SL : STATE LIBRARY MAGAZINE      Autumn 2010  Q & A         Cathy Perkins
    •     http://www.sl.nsw.gov.au/
  • 8. Collections
    •    Jane’s work is represented in the collections of :
    •  
      •   the Mitchell Library, State Library of N.S.W.
      • Artbank
      • the Kedumba Contemporary Drawing Gallery
      • many Regional Gallery & Municipal Council Collections
      • Department of Defence
      • University of N.S.W.
      • University of Sydney
      • many corporate & private collections throughout Australia, the U.S.A., the U.K., Hong Kong & Japan.
  • 9.
    •  
    • Painting Sydney's Industrial Heritage
    •  
    •     I began to paint & draw Sydney 's industrial & maritime heritage in the early 1980's.
    •   Almost everything that I have painted has either been demolished or changed beyond all recognition.
    •   The pubs have been gentrified, the woolstores have been converted into apartments, the handsome Federation warehouses of the Royal Edward Victualling Yard have become a media village & the few remaining Victorian terraces have been surrounded & obscured by multistorey apartment blocks.
    • www.powerhousemuseum.com
  • 10.   Unlike many artists I usually work on site to capture the elusive spirit of place. I set up my easel by the side of the road, on windswept rooftops & on demolition sites. Unpredictable weather, constantly changing light, distractions from workman & passers-by – are more than compensated for by the depth of knowledge I have gained about the hidden gems of Sydney.  I see Sydney in all its moods, from the pearly calm of early morning, the brilliant cobalt sea and sky of a warm summer’s day, to dramatic storms & the jewel-like city skyline at night.
  • 11. The Anzac Bridge series
    • The ultimate bird’s eye view of Sydney – the top of the western pylon of the still unfinished New Glebe Island Bridge gave me majestic panoramas of Harbour, Bridge & City to the east & stark industrial landscapes to the north-west. It was then nameless –  Bob Carr named it the ANZAC Bridge only after it had been opened for over a year.
    •    I painted over 20 works in the ANZAC Bridge series, several of which have won major awards & been acquired by various prestigious
    •   collections. A large ink drawing won the 1996 Hunter’s Hill Open Art Award, was a finalist in the 1997 Sulman Art Prize at the Art Gallery of N.S.W., & was then acquired by the University of N.S.W. for the Faculty of Engineering. 
    •   The Mitchell Library, State Library of N.S.W, has acquired a painting in this series, "Closing the Gap" which is now on display in the "ONE Hundred" exhibition of 100 iconic objects to celebrate the centenary of the Mitchell Library.
  • 12. "Closing the Gap" 1995 oil on canvas 91 x 122cm
  • 13. More about the Anzac Bridge series...
    • I was invited up here as a consequence of being the resident artist of the Pyrmont Power Station, when Sydney Electricity were having discussions with the RTA & Baulderstone Hornibrook about lighting the Bridge.
    •   In case you are wondering how I got up there, you can see a tiny green lift crawling up the leg of the eastern pylon, & of course there was a replica on the western side. The lifts seemed to be made mostly of chickenwire  & it felt like every time they managed to groan upwards a couple of metres, they would suddenly lurch downwards at least half as much again. 
    • After construction finished, access to the top was a lot more strenuous, although not as gut-wrenching. The legs of the ANZAC Bridge are hollow! To get to the top still needs a touch of courage as well as the ability to climb a steel rung ladder- the last 30 metres are completely vertical.
  • 14. "Closing the Gap" 1994 pastel on paper 68 x 100 cm
  • 15. "Night from the top of the ANZAC Bridge" 1996  oil on canvas 91x122cm
  • 16. "Night from the top of the ANZAC Bridge" 1996  oil on canvas 91x122cm
    • Here, the entire Pyrmont Peninsula is spread out beneath my feet! I could see the rooftops of many of my former studios: the CSR Refinery & Distillery; the Pyrmont Power station; Ways Terrace; Pyrmont Point Park; the Federation warehouses of the Royal Edward Victualling Yard; Pier 19/20/21.
    •  
    • Watching the reflections of the jewel-like lights on the water, I was inspired to paint a series of nocturnes. The city glitters against an inky night sky in Sydney’s most breathtaking panorama.                                                                                     
    • This painting was exhibited in ‘Vast - the National Australian Art Exhibition from far & wide’, the keystone exhibition for the visual arts program of the 2000 Olympic Arts Festival. I was one of only 24 of Australia’s finest contemporary artists – 3 from each state & territory- chosen to participate.
  • 17. "Looking West from the top of the Anzac Bridge" 1994 ink, gouache on paper 141 x 134 cm WINNER : People's choice 1996 Grafton Jacaranda Drawing Prize
  • 18. “  Ways Terrace from the top of Pyrmont Power Station” 1991  mixed media on paper 122x101cm  WINNER  : 1992 Hunter's Hill Art Prize
  • 19. " Ways Terrace from the top of Pyrmont Power Station" 1991  mixed media 122x101cm
    • The rhythmic sweeping lines curving under the bridge from the right are remnants of the old Pyrmont goods line. This had been built in 1916 & once continued from Darling Harbour in a loop around Pyrmont, back into Ultimo across Wentworth Park & beyond. 
    •   At vast expense, the perfectly serviceable goods line was later torn up & replaced by the dubious benefit of light rail. The buildings near it originally included the old signal box of the Pyrmont Goods Yard. It had been frequently used to add street credibility to commercials & dramas & immortalized as the “Spanish café” in “Strictly Ballroom”. One person’s eyesore is another’s urban icon.
  • 20. "Darling Island from the top of Pyrmont Power Station" 1994  mixed media on paper 110x130cm  FINALIST : 1994 Dobell Prize for Drawing Art Gallery of NSW
  • 21. “ Casino Site from the top of Pyrmont Power Station” 1996 oil on board 40x89cm
  • 22.  ” Casino Site from the top of Pyrmont Power Station” 1996 oil on board 40 x 89cm
    • The long narrow building on the left, Pier 13, was once connected to Jones Bay Road by a land bridge. Then Pier 13 became the temporary casino, painted a hideous shade of bright yellow & the land bridge was demolished. Jones Bay Road has since been renamed Pirrama Road & now a leads to the steps of Star City Casino.
    •   The brilliantly coloured ships in the background are painted to scale; they were so immense that they towered over the buildings. 
    •   One of the great delights of painting in Pyrmont used to be watching the endless parade of boats –sturdy ferries chugging past & the majestic tankers. Now Sydney’s working Harbour has essentially disappeared.
  • 23. “ Star City Casino site 2”1996 oil on canvas 122 x 180 cm
  • 24. "Star City Casino site 2" 1996 oil on canvas 122 x 180 cm
    •   This birds-eye view of construction gives an idea of the grand scale of the project.
    •  
    • At that stage, despite being partially demolished, the remaining section of the Pyrmont Power Station was still fully operational & still provided most of the electricity for the western side of the C.B.D. 
    •  
    • This was one of the last paintings I completed from the roof of the Pyrmont Power Station, hence its monumental scale.
  • 25. “ Pyrmont Panorama : Union Square from the Roof of Pyrmont Power Station” 1993 oil on canvas 91 x 122cm
  • 26. “ Pyrmont Panorama : Union Square from the Roof of Pyrmont Power Station”1993 oil on canvas 91 x 122cm
    •   One of my favourite studios was the roof of the old Pyrmont Power Station. 
    • This painting is from the roof of the Chemistry Lab in the quirky Elcom building, which now houses the Casino offices. Many of my paintings from this time concentrate on the spectacular Sydney Harbour views, but for a change I decided to record the heritage precinct of worker’s cottages, Victorian terraces & bond stores, little knowing how much this view would change over the next decade. The bond stores in the centre next to the vacant lot would soon make way for the substation between Pyrmont & Harris streets. 
    • The old “Duke of Edinburgh” hotel on the corner of Union & Harris Streets has been repainted & is now known as the “Harlequin Inn”. 
    • The handsome sandstone building with a red tiled roof that dominates the right hand side was the Pyrmont Post Office, & has now become the Pyrmont Branch of the Bendigo Community Bank.
  • 27. “ My studio at the back of Pyrmont Post Office” 1994  oil on canvas 38x76cm
  • 28. “ My studio at the back of Pyrmont Post Office” 1994  oil on canvas 38x76cm
    •   This lovely heritage sandstone & tile building was formerly the Pyrmont Post Office, & has recently become the Pyrmont Branch of the Bendigo Community Bank.
    • It became my studio when Sydney Electricity started excavation of 2 bond stores for a new substation to eventually replace the Pyrmont Power station. 
    • Note my hard hat collection, steel-capped boots & fluoro vest!
  • 29. " Union Square Terraces 4 - a little piece of Paris in Pyrmont" 2009 oil on canvas 51x76cm            http://www.altmedia.net.au
  • 30.  ” Water Police site” 1991 oil on canvas 75 x 100cm
  • 31.  ” Water Police site” 1991 oil on canvas 75 x 100cm
    •   The “bird’s eye views” of the Water Police Site were painted at the C.S.R. Refinery, where I had one of my many Pyrmont painting studios. The location was the top floor of the No. 4 Brick Building known as the ‘Panhouse’ which was where the brown sugar was refined into white.  
    • In the late 1980’s a derelict Fingerwharf remained on the northern end & remnants of the public baths could still be seen on the knuckle of the wharf. On the southern end was the A.E.W.L., where I also had a studio space, courtesy of City-West Development Corporation. The dockyards of White Bay, opposite the northern end of Pyrmont are some of the last remaining vestiges of Sydney as a working harbour.
    •  
    • The Water Police Site has now been transformed into a park for the residents of Pyrmont.
  • 32.  ” CSR Cranes” 1996  ink on paper 31 x 41cm
  • 33.  ” CSR from Pyrmont Point”1997  ink on paper 31 x 41cm
  • 34.  ” CSR from Pyrmont Point” 1997  ink on paper 31 x 41cm
    • The building in the centre is the sugar packing house; some of its façade has been incorporated into one of the new Jackson’s landing apartments but overall the peninsula is dominated by the ‘Lemon’ & the ‘Gherkin’, unflattering local names for two of the most obtrusive apartment blocks.In the foreground is an awning over the A.E.W.L. building which was next to the Waterpolice site, which I painted from the roof of the Boilerhouse. 
    •   At the time of this painting, I had returned to Sydney for a few months halfway through my Marten Bequest Travelling Art Scholarship to find Pyrmont almost unrecognisable. Bovis LendLease had already started demolition of the C.S.R. Refinery & Distillery. By the time I had returned from my 2nd year Jackson’s Landing was well underway. In March 2010, after a wrestling match between residents, developers & the Council, the old Waterpolice site was officially opened as a park.
  • 35. CSR Sunset 1994  oil on board 31 x 91cm
  • 36.   "Jones Bay Wharf" 2000  pastel on paper 76 x 56cm
    • This pastel features the elegant overhead bridge linking its upper deck to the lookout at the end of Point Street. This work was sketched from the little park in front of Ways Terrace, the apartments perched on top of the escarpment opposite. 
    •  
    • This pastel, completed very early on a crisp winter morning, shows a silvery morning mist veiling the famous panorama of the Harbour so that the Bridge & the city skyline are barely visible. Rust on the roof of the Wharf contrasts with the steely grey water. The viewpoint is from the Ways Terrace apartments in Point Street & emphasises how far the Wharf stretches out into the Harbour.
    •  
    • Jones Bay Wharf was formerly known as Pier 19,20 & 21 & has been renovated extensively since this pastel. Now it is the site of many prestigious restaurants such as "Flying Fish" & the elegant function centre "Doltone House"
  • 37.   "Industrial Cathedral, the Cooperage, C.S.R. Refinery" oil on canvas 91x61cm
  • 38.   "Industrial Cathedral, the Cooperage, C.S.R. Refinery" oil on canvas 91 x 61cm
    • The most apparently unpromising place can reveal unexpected moments of beauty. A fleeting shaft of light can magically transform a pile of rubble or a dilapidated roof. 
    • This painting of the Cooperage at the C.S.R. Refinery focuses on the mysterious patterns of shadow made by the fall of light. The cavernous space & rows of columns reminded me of the interiors of cathedrals & ruined abbeys. 
    • The wall at the back was made of the famous butter-yellow Pyrmont sandstone, which has been quarried to decorate the best loved historic Sydney buildings such as the Australian Museum, the Sydney Post Office, the University of Sydney. At sunset the rock face would catch the last rays of light & the derelict warehouse would be transformed.
  • 39. "CSR Refinery from the chimney of the boilerhouse"1994  acrylic on paper 91x61cm
  • 40. "CSR Refinery from the chimney of the boilerhouse"1994  acrylic on paper 91 x 61cm
    • This painting of the C.S.R. Refinery is a view of some of the buildings from the roof of the C.S.R. Boilerhouse.
    • On the right is the cherry-coloured coal crane; the building next to it is the coal transporter. On the far left is a glimpse of the ‘Panhouse’, where the brown sugar was actually refined into white; you can see the rickety landing from where I painted Cat. No. 14. In the distance on the right is one of the ‘Barber Blue Sea’ ships (Later to become the Wallenius Wilhelmsen Lines) unloading at White Bay.
    • The green coal loaders in the background are part of the Glebe Island terminal, now recently vacated & awaiting redevelopment. The front brick skin of the Boilerhouse was retained as the cladding for the Jackson’s Landing apartment block christened the ‘Elizabeth’, but little else remains of the other buildings depicted here.
  • 41. "Crane & Ship, CSR." 1996 ink on paper 41x 31cm
  • 42. "Crane & Ship, CSR." 1996 ink on paper 41x 31cm
    • The cherry-pink sugar crane drawn from the gatehouse of the C.S.R. Refinery, with a ship docked at White Bay opposite. 
    •  
    • One day I was painting a view of the Water Police site with White Bay in the distance on a rusty old balcony on the top floor of the Panhouse when I heard a deafening crunch & the whole building seemed to shudder. When I looked up, I realized that one of the red & white cranes of White Bay was missing! One of the vermilion Wallenius Wilhelmsen Line cargo ships (possibly the ‘Toba’) had accidentally rammed it while docking & it lay on White Bay Wharf in a crumpled heap.
  • 43. "The Boilerhouse, C.S.R. Refinery from the jetty " 1991 oil on canvas 91x91cm
  • 44. "The Boilerhouse, C.S.R. Refinery from the jetty " 1991 oil on canvas 91x91cm
    •   The Jetty has been demolished, & the Gatehouse has been transformed into the stylish café “H2O” & the elegant restaurant “The Sugar Room”. 
    •  
    • The imposing façade of the C.S.R. Boilerhouse has been incorporated into one of the new Jackson’s landing apartments, the ‘Elizabeth’.
    •  
  • 45.  ” White Bay Hotel from the Overpass” 1995 oil on canvas 51 x 71cm
  • 46. “ White Bay Hotel from the Overpass 2” 1995  oil on canvas 25 x 51cm
  • 47. “ White Bay Hotel from the Overpass’ 1995  oil on canvas 25 x 51cm
    • This derelict hotel burnt down in suspicious circumstances in 2008 & the site will be auctioned on 18th May 2010
    •  
    • http://acms.sl.nsw.gov.au  
  • 48. "The last of the Hungry Mile" 2008  oil on canvas 180 x 122cm
  • 49. "The last of the Hungry Mile" 2008  oil on canvas 180 x 122cm
    • I was Artist in Residence at the "Hungry Mile" aka "East Darling Harbour Wharves" from 2005 until after the stevedores left & the preparations for "World Youth Week" had started.
    • I painted this inside Shed 4, the top floor of which once contain the offices . While the wharf was still operational I would never have been allowed to paint there as it was far too dangerous. Forklifts used to whip in & out of the entrance constantly, & there was a deafening alarm that would go off whenever this happened. I had earmarked this spot as a site for an iconic painting as soon as I arrived in 2005. The doorway frames the Sydney Harbour Tower, the bond stores & the quirky architecture of the heritage Palisade Hotel perched on the golden sandstone escarpment to perfection.
    • This area is now called Barangaroo.The once bustling wharf has suddenly become eerily silent; soon the cycle of demolition & construction shall begin.
  • 50. Cockatoo Island : A short History of Fitzroy & Sutherland Dock …
    • The Fitzroy Dry Dock was named after the new Governor of N.S.W., Sir Charles Fitzroy & was built as a dry dock for the use of Royal Naval vessels in the South Pacific. During construction, thousands of tons of sandstone were quarried by convict labour, the men working in leg irons.
    • The Admiralty designed the original plan, but Captain Gother Mann, adapted it to suit local conditions & expand its size. He used “state of the art” electronically detonated explosives to remove the cliff face, assembled all the pumping machinery & designed the floating caisson or gate. In 1857 the dock was 284 feet in length, but was extended in 1870 & again in 1880 to its present length of 475 feet. 
    • However by this time it became obvious that Fitzroy dock was no longer big enough for the new steel battleships, so ₤150,000 was allocated for construction of a graving dock intended to be the largest in the southern hemisphere – Sutherland Dock.
  • 51. " 2 Cranes on the North-West Slipway" 1989  oil on canvas 61 x 46cm
  • 52. " 2 Cranes on the North-West Slipway" 1989  oil on canvas 61 x 46cm
    • Compare this 1989 painting with the 2007 one that I deliberately painted at the same location, at the same time of day, at the same time of year & on the same format canvas 18 years apart.
    • The green crane is the most obvious omission- a casualty of a storm not long after this was painted.
    • Other changes are subtler: a touch of rust here & there, the "Paint shop" building replaced by toilet blocks for the tourists, missing structures from the slipway & new developments in Hunters Hill on the horizon.
  • 53. " Crane & slipway from the Officers headquarters" 2007 oil on canvas 46 x 36cm
  • 54. " Crane & slipway from the Officers headquarters" 2007 oil on canvas 46 x 36cm
    • The newly built townhouses & marinas are clearly visible in the background.
  • 55. " Fitzroy Dock, early morning" 2007  oil on canvas 75 x 100cm
  • 56. " Fitzroy Dock, early morning" 2007  oil on canvas 75 x 100cm
    • The present floating caisson was made in 1927 but is a replica of the 1857 original. This gate is pulled into & out of place with a tugboat & its position is predetermined by the “fit”. The “fit” consisted of 2 grooves, one of which has been cut into each side of the dock, running vertically down to the floor of the dry dock where they join a gutter cut across the dock entrance. When the caisson was in position the workmen would open a flood valve to let water into the caisson to sink it into position, sealing the dock.
  • 57. " Sunrise, Fitzroy Dock" 2007  oil on canvas 75 x 100cm
  • 58. "Cockatoo Island Panorama 3" 2007  oil on canvas 25 x 153cm
  • 59. “ Cockatoo Island Triptych” 2006  oil on canvas 46 x 92cm each panel.
    • This triptych spans the entire southern industrial panorama of the island from Fitzroy Dock on the far left to Sutherland Dock on the far right.
  • 60. "Cockatoo Island Triptych – Fitzroy dock" 2006  oil on canvas 46 x 92cm each Left Hand Panel
  • 61.   "Cockatoo Island Triptych-Fitzroy dock" 2006  oil on canvas 46 x 92cm each Left Hand Panel
    •   On the far left is part of the Turbine Hall complex.
    • A pigeon pair of 1918 utility cranes guard the entrance to the Fitzroy Dock. Next to the Utility crane on the left hand side is one of the oldest steam cranes in Australia, built in 1857. 
    • The rusty 1890's Priestman crane in the centre also has a twin which you can see depicted in the right hand canvas of this triptych next to Sutherland dock.
    • The brick buildings on the right were once used for submarine building, & the red & white striped thing that looks like a giant boiled lolly is actually a crane counterweight.
  • 62. "Cockatoo Island Triptych" 2006  oil on canvas 46 x 92cm each Centre Panel 
  • 63.   "Cockatoo Island Triptych" 2006  oil on canvas 46 x 92cm each Centre Panel 
    • The brick building on the right was the centre for the Ship Painters & Dockers. Rather appropriately I used to keep my paints & easel there. The crane to the left was called the weathercock as it swings around in the wind.
  • 64. “ Cockatoo Island Triptych-Sutherland dock" 2006  oil on canvas 46 x 92cm each Right Hand Panel  
  • 65.   "Cockatoo Island Triptych-Sutherland dock" 2006  oil on canvas 46 x 92cm each Right Hand Panel
    •   1882-1890 Sutherland Dock was designed by Louis Samuel, a brilliant 23 year old engineer, whose company also obtained the contract to build the piers for the Hawkesbury River Bridge.
  • 66. " The Glebe Island swing bridge with the ANZAC Bridge" 2009 oil on canvas 35 x 45cm
  • 67.   " The 'Sirius Leader' "2008 oil on canvas 41 x 51cm
  • 68.   "Arrival of the Blue Hawk- last Ro-Ro to leave Sydney" 2008  oil on canvas 56 x 76cm
  • 69. " The Blue Hawk - last Ro-Ro to leave Sydney" 2008  oil on canvas 56 x 76cm
    • The "Blue Hawk" was the last car ship or "Ro-ro" (roll on, roll off) to depart Glebe island in October 2009. Note the unusual ship design with the 2 ramps.
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    • However, this was by no means the last ship or even the last cargo ship, as since then there have been ships at Glebe with loads of salt & cement, such as the "Goliath" & the "Thevenard".
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    • Current occupants are the ex-HMAS Adelaide & the barge "Steel Hauler" with cables bound for Botany. Even so, there is a distinct sense of the end of an era.
  • 70. "The 'Blue Hawk' & Anzac Bridge at night" 2008  oil on canvas 25 x 31cm The last Ro-ro due to depart at midnight in the rain.
  • 71. Coda
    • I seem to have an uncanny instinct for selecting subjects that are about to vanish. Ironically part of the attraction of such places is their poignant impermanence. I sought to paint the landscape forever poised at the moment of transition – at the first bite of the bulldozer – at the point of maximum contrast between past & future. I experienced great frustration at painting to an unknown but inevitable time limit as buildings were demolished as fast as I could paint them.
    • The urgency I felt expressed itself in the vitality of the brushwork As the momentum of development rapidly gathered, I continued to record this area with an increasing sense of purpose. 
    •   These works changed from isolated images into an extensive narrative sequence of the abandonment, decay, destruction & reconstruction of an inner-city suburb – a metaphor for deeper changes within Australia.
    • The mood has changed forever, & only my works remain as testament to the passing of an era. This is a love poem to a lost city.
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