Painting inside the hall of the former cruise ship terminal at Wharf 8, South Barangaroo
| "Out of time " 2010 oil painting on canvas 31 x 31 cm|
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A poignant little genre painting. Stopped clocks; a security sign; an abandoned storeroom. Industrial memento mori.A memento mori, or "reminder of death" is a familiar motif from medieval art. Sometimes a gruesome skeleton clothed in tattered flesh holds a scroll bearing the Latin inscription, "I am what you will be. I was what you are. For every man is this so." Other paintings have more subtle ways of implying the same message - a piece of rotting fruit or an overblown rose in a Dutch 17th century still life; an hourglass or a mirror may mark the passage of time in a portrait.
Every good still life painting should have at least a whiff of mortality about it; a slight sting in the tail; a spoonful of medicine to make the sugar go down.
I found a plaque commemorating the opening of this building - 1999. Not all that long ago, but already it seems like an eon has passed.
Sydney Ports Corporation has just arrived to take possession of this sign. I found its inscription hilarious - it was about how passengers with cardiac pacemakers were not to go through the X ray machines, but had to be bodily searched by the security guards! if they didn't have heart problems to start with they would when they finished; all the excitement might prove too much! It is such an insecure security sign.