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

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Sydney Harbour Control Tower (The 'Pill')

Painting the Sydney Harbour Control Tower at Barangaroo

Painting the Sydney Harbour Control Tower at Barangaroo : Art versus life

My canvas is sitting on top of my trolley luggage, which contains my essential equipment. My paints, my brushes, my palette, my easel, my toilet paper and my lunch. It's a long walk back and the French box easel weighs over 10 kilos with the paint inside. All French box easels have annoying design flaws. With this one the easel legs have an alarming tendency to detach and whack me on the back of shins whenever I least expect it. Shoving it inside the trolley luggage was the best compromise I could come up with.
 BAR53 'Barangaroo north -The Harbour Tower, escarpment and Moore's Wharf' 2010 oil on canvas 61 x 91cm
$6,600
Enquiries about these paintings :

Painting the Sydney Harbour Control Tower at Barangaroo
While I was painting this, the radio station Nova was holding some kind of promotional event, on the knuckle of the northern end of Barangaroo. It was a bit distracting and I felt a bit nervous leaving all of my things lying around at the mercy of the crowd whenever I had to have a loo break. But they had set up a pop-up coffee bar in the middle of the wharf, so I'm everlastingly grateful to them as I love my coffee and never usually get a chance to drink any while I'm painting - it tends to go sour in a thermos and milk turns to yoghurt in the sun.
The Sydney Harbour Control Tower will still be used by Sydney Ports Corporation until their room in their spiffy new purple and silver headquarters at Port Botany has been fitted out. As far as I know this should happen in April 2011. I don't know whether there will be a role for the  Sydney Harbour Control Tower in the new plans for Barangaroo. Hope so. I still have an easel and paint stashed on the amenities floor; I don't want to lose them.
 BAR54 'Tower of Power' 
2010 oil on canvas 61 x 61cm
$4,500
Enquiries about these paintings :


View more of my Barangaroo paintings at my Barangaroo blog 'Painting Barangaroo'

Gantry

Demolition of Cruise ship Terminal at Darling Harbour 8
The Gantry
Breakfast in the ruins with my half finished canvas of the last gantry of Wharf 8, the former cruise ship terminal of Barangaroo
My painting of the last gantry of Wharf 8
'Gantry (keep)' Almost finished oil painting on canvas 46 x 36 cm
Sold
I had wondered if the gantries were to be kept intact and possibly recycled for use at the new cruise ship terminal soon to be built at White Bay.
Ironically they are instead about to be demolished by the very same man who built the orange gantry only 8 years ago.
More irony :
At the foot of the gantry is an incongrous inscription in fading and cracked fluorescent cadmium yellow capital letters :
"KEEP"
 
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Sunday, August 8, 2010

Terminal, End or Extremity

Paintings of the Arrivals Hall of the former cruise ship terminal Wharf 8 at Barangaroo.

These are unfinished oil paintings on canvas of the interior of the deserted former cruise ship terminal at Darling Harbour Wharf 8.

My first day of painting this canvas:

oil painting of interior of the now demolished  Wharf 8 cruise ship terminal at Barangaroo by industrial heritage artist Jane Bennett
'I saw the number '8' in red... ' unfinished oil painting on canvas 61 x 91cm
$6,600
Sold 
Private Collection : Sydney
Enquiries about similar paintings : janecooperbennett@gmail.com
The title is my homage to the 1928 Charles Demuth painting "I saw the number 5 in gold..", an icon of American Modernism. Like Demuth, I never let go of reality. 
Though not a physical likeness, Demuth used imagery from William Carlos Williams’ poem "The Great Figure," to create an abstract portrait of his friend. The intersecting lines, repeated "5," round forms of the numbers, lights, street lamp, and blaring sirens of the red fire engine  speeding down the street infuse the painting with a vibrant, urban energy. 

Among the rain
and lights
I saw the figure 5
in gold
on a red
firetruck
moving
tense
unheeded
to gong clangs
siren howls
and wheels rumbling
through the dark city
 
"The Great Figure" William Carlos Williams 

oil painting of interior of the now demolished  Wharf 8 cruise ship terminal at Barangaroo by industrial heritage artist Jane Bennett
'I saw the number '8' in red... ' unfinished oil painting on canvas 61 x 91cm
$6,600
Sold 
Private Collection : Sydney
Enquiries about similar paintings : janecooperbennett@gmail.com

The 2nd day of this painting- nearly finished, but needs glazing to emphasize the reflections and the dramatic shafts of light from the doorways.

oil painting of interior of the now demolished  Wharf 8 cruise ship terminal at Barangaroo by industrial heritage artist Jane Bennett
The completed painting: "I saw the number '8' in red... "2010  
oil painting on canvas  61 x 91cm 
$6,600
Sold 
Private Collection : Sydney
Enquiries about similar paintings : janecooperbennett@gmail.com
Starting my 2nd painting of the interior of the Arrivals Hall:
Setting out a rough idea of the composition:
oil painting of interior of the now demolished  Wharf 8 cruise ship terminal at Barangaroo by industrial heritage artist Jane Bennett
"I saw the number '8' in red" 2010 unfinished oil painting on canvas  61 x 183cm
$11,000
Sold 
Private Collection : Sydney
Enquiries about similar paintings : janecooperbennett@gmail.com

Starting work on a large panoramic interior of the Arrivals Hall. This is a Saturday, and apart from the bored security guards on the gate I have the whole place more or less to myself so it is eerily silent.
For a change I have managed to get here early. I've been battling a killer bout of flu for over a month and I've had to push myself to keep working. My throat has been so sore that I can only eat jelly and chicken soup for the last week. I've taken in a thermos of icecubes to numb my throat and they seem to help. Whinge, whinge. This is totally self inflicted- I've been painting outdoors in the middle of winter on a freezing cold wharf in a howling gale and to misquote Alice in Wonderland it is bound to disagree with you sooner or later. However I wouldn't swap what I do for anything; it keeps me endlessly fascinated. I only wish that I wouldn't get ill just at this crucial point in the history of Sydney Harbour - this is the last wharf on the historic Hungry Mile, which has been the fountainhead of Australia's maritime industry since settlement over 200 years ago, and it will be demolished in less than a fortnight! No other artist in Australia seems to have an MSIC or a greencard; so I am the only person permitted to paint any of this.

Half way through my 1st day of painting :
oil painting of interior of the now demolished  Wharf 8 cruise ship terminal at Barangaroo by industrial heritage artist Jane Bennett
"I saw the number '8' in red" 2010 unfinished oil painting on canvas  61 x 183cm
$11,000
Sold 
Private Collection : Sydney
Enquiries about similar paintings : janecooperbennett@gmail.com
At the end of the first day:

oil painting of interior of the now demolished  Wharf 8 cruise ship terminal at Barangaroo by industrial heritage artist Jane Bennett
"I saw the number '8' in red" 2010 
 oil painting on canvas  61 x 183cm
$11,000
Sold 
Private Collection : Sydney
Enquiries about similar paintings : janecooperbennett@gmail.com 
I have used 'terminal' as part of the title of paintings in this series as a play on words. The following nuances of meaning I found particularly apt :
1.situated at or forming the end or extremity of something...
2. occuring at or forming the end of a series, succession, or the like; closing; concluding
7.pertaining to or placed at a boundary, as a landmark.
8. occuring at or causing the end of life: a terminal disease.
9.(Informal) utterly beyond hope, rescue or saving...
10. a terminal part of a structure; end or extremity.
13. a station on the line of a public carrier,as in a city centre ... where passengers embark or disembark...
(Courtesy of Dictionary.com)
Take your pick!

Out of Time

Painting inside the hall of the former cruise ship terminal at Wharf 8, South Barangaroo

plein air oil painting of demolished cruise ship terminal Wharf 8 on the Hungry mile, now Barangaroo painted by maritime heritage artist Jane Bennett
"Out of time " 2010 oil painting on canvas 31 x 31 cm
$990
Enquiries about this painting
janecooperbennett@gmail.com
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.

My Studio at Barangaroo

Works in progress

Unfinished oil paintings on canvas by Jane Bennett
Painting inside the the former Cruise ship Terminal at Darling Harbour 8 painted in July-August 2010


plein air oil painting of the demolished Wharf 8 cruise ship terminal at South Barangaroo by industrial heritage and marine artist Jane Bennett
BAR7 'Empty Hall, Wharf 8' 2010 oil on canvas 61 x 183cm
$11,000
Enquiries about this painting

plein air oil painting of the demolished Wharf 8 cruise ship terminal at South Barangaroo by industrial heritage and marine artist Jane Bennett
My paintings of the soon to be demolished Wharf 8 cruise ship terminal at South Barangaroo
Enquiries about these paintings

I make the big move out of the terminal, as it is soon to be demolished.
plein air oil painting of the demolished Wharf 8 cruise ship terminal at South Barangaroo by industrial heritage and marine artist Jane Bennett
"Grabber, ripper,muncher" 
2010 oil painting on canvas 31 x 31cm
$990
Enquiries about this painting
janecooperbennett@gmail.com
Yes, they actually are the proper names of the attachments to the excavators! I'm not making them up. Truly.
The "Grabber" is in the centre, the "Ripper" is the wicked looking blade on the right, while the "Muncher" is the monster with the mad fluoro pink "eye" and the toothy jaws in front of the red door to the left. The workmen promised me that there is also a "Pulverizer" that will arrive later. This I have to see!
plein air oil painting of the demolished Wharf 8 cruise ship terminal at South Barangaroo by industrial heritage and marine artist Jane Bennett
Left to right and top to bottom:

"Behind the red door" 
2010 oil painting on canvas 31 x 31cm
$990
"Grabber, ripper,muncher" 
2010 oil painting on canvas 31 x 31cm
$990
"Excavators at rest" 
2010 oil painting on canvas 56 x 76cm
$5,000
Enquiries about these paintings
janecooperbennett@gmail.com

A good day at the office! Three paintings completed before I was kicked out!
plein air oil painting of the demolished Wharf 8 cruise ship terminal at South Barangaroo by industrial heritage and marine artist Jane Bennett
Left to right and top to bottom:

"May open without warning" 
2010 oil painting on canvas 56 x 76cm
$5,000
"May close without warning" 
2010 oil painting on canvas 56 x 76cm
$5,000
Enquiries about these paintings

Everything must go!

This was the very last day that I was able to leave my easels and canvases inside the terminal.
I've been kicked out of Wharf 8 and now have moved my stuff into a room in the loading dock of the old Sydney Ports Corporation Maintenance Depot that has been recently used to display the designs for Barangaroo.
Not for long, apparently - Bovis LendLease has already moved the entrance twice and I've noticed construction of new site offices starting in the north-west corner.
This building will obviously be the next to go after the DH8 terminal. Exactly when is anyone's guess.

Behind the Red Door

Barangaroo : Terminal - Loading Dock

Plein air oil paintings on canvas by Jane Bennett of the former Cruise ship Terminal at Darling Harbour 8
painted in July 2010

plein air oil painting of now demolished cruise ship terminal at Barangaroo by industrial heritage and marine artist Jane Bennett
"Behind the red door "  2010 oil painting on canvas 31 x 31cm
$990
Enquiries about this painting
janecooperbennett@gmail.com
Day 1 of this painting

A tantalizing glimpse of Jones Bay Wharf, Pyrmont behind the door within a door.
Painted inside the loading dock of the former Cruise ship Terminal at Darling Harbour Wharf 8, which will be demolished in a few weeks time.