Industrial Cathedral

Industrial Cathedral
"Industrial Cathedral" charcoal drawing on paper 131 x 131 cm Jane Bennett. This drawing was a finalist in the 1998 Dobell Prize for Drawing (Art Gallery of N.S.W.) ; Finalist in 1998 Blake Prize for Religious Art ; Winner of 1998 Hunter's Hill Open Art Prize

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

My exhibition at the Sydney Open

An Architectural Adventure
The 'Sydney Open' -presented by the Historic Houses Trust

My paintings will be on exhibition at several venues during the Sydney Open, a biennial event presented by Historic Houses Trust that showcases Sydney’s architectural icons.
On display for one day only on Sunday 7th November 2010

A Blast from the Past at Workplace6

I will exhibit some of my early Pyrmont paintings  at Workplace6, Pirrama Road opposite Star City Casino.

I painted in Pyrmont from the early 1980's until now. These paintings show how far Pyrmont has come since its dark days as an industrial wasteland.
I have witnessed many historic moments in Pyrmont’s metamorphosis. The site of Workplace6 was then occupied by Pier 13, where so many immigrants first set foot on Australian soil. One of the paintings of Pyrmont in the early 1990's, a 'bird's eye view' painted from the rooftop of the old Pyrmont Power Station, ( now replaced by the Star City Casino) shows a big red ship in the background - the now notorious 'Tampa'!
View this painting on my 'Barangaroo from Pyrmont' page at my other blog 'Painting Barangaroo'
I have already sampled the delights of Workplace6, as I was invited to the opening of Paul Signorelli's new foodie haven  'Gastronomia'  as a member of PUCC, the Pyrmont Ultimo Chamber of Commerce.
Pyrmont has certainly changed - I used to have to take my own lunch for a start! The pubs were then a 'no go' area for anyone who wasn’t looking for hard core trouble! I only experienced the odd bit of bother from the local larrikins, and as the locals got used to having an 'Artist in Residence' they would even keep an eye on my belongings and drag my paintings under cover for me if it started to rain. I felt as though I had been adopted as an honorary resident! I used to leave all my stuff lying around in the middle of Jones Bay Road (now called 'Pirrama Road) - there were few cars and the only strangers were from the cruise ships that still docked at Pier 13.
My paintings are a narrative of the abandonment, decay, destruction and reconstruction of an inner-city landscape – a metaphor for deeper changes within Australia. The mood has changed forever, and only my works remain as testament to the passing of an era.
'Pyrmont Goods Yard from the roof of Pyrmont Power Station' 1989
ink,gouache on paper 110 x 130cm 
Pyrmont Goods Yard, Darling Island and Pier 13 from the roof of Pyrmont Power Station. The old Pyrmont/Darling Island goods line has only just ceased operations and the gleaming white Australian National Maritime Museum has only just been built. Cruise ships still docked at Pier 13.
The cluster of sheds under the land bridge to Pier 13 were old signal boxes later refurbished to be sets for the filming of the flamenco scenes of the iconic Baz Luhrman film 'Strictly Ballroom'.
The East Darling Harbour Wharves, often known as the 'Hungry Mile' and now re-christened 'Barangaroo') are in the background.
'Construction of Star City Casino from the top of Pyrmont Power Station' 1996
oil painting 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  bright yellow and the land bridge was demolished. Jones Bay Road has since been renamed Pirrama Road and now leads to the steps of Star City Casino, which is now being extensively renovated.
Workplace6 now occupies the site where Pier 13 once stood.
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 ebb and flow of ships–sturdy ferries chugging past, enormous cargo ships and majestic tankers. 

I will also be exhibiting some of my Barangaroo paintings at '30 The Bond', the LendLease headquarters as part of the 'Sydney Open' on Sunday 7th November 2010 from 9.30-5pm. For more information, see my post 'Something old, something new- Some paintings at Barangaroo'  at my other blog 'Painting Barangaroo'

Update 17/10/12
Although both my exhibitions were very popular and gave onlookers a unique experience of seeing the past history of these areas in context with their present day surroundings; the Historic Houses Trust has messed me around badly , and I will not be exhibiting in the 2012 Sydney Open.

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