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

Thursday, March 24, 2011

UPtown Festival 2011

The 30th Pyrmont Ultimo Festival
Saturday 19th March 2011
Artist Jane Bennett with her Pyrmont paintings at the 2011 Pyrmont Festival
 The Pyrmont- Ultimo UPtown Festival 2011  
Photo is courtesy of Jeffrey Mellefont, Australian National Maritime Museum.
Quarry Green is a charming little park between Quarry St and Bulwara Road behind Harris St Ultimo. Its most famous landmarks are the church and tne pub, which lie close to the border between Pyrmont and Ultimo.
The festival began modestly thirty years ago, when it was started by two enterprising local residents, Debra Berryman and Olga Reader, as a simple get-together to unite the small local community. Since then, year by year, the UPTown Festival has witnessed the Ultimo Pyrmont precinct’s remarkable re-birth and transformation from a quiet, post-industrial area in the early 1980’s, with a population of under 2000, to today’s thriving business, media and education centre, with a dynamic, multi-ethnic community of around 20,000.
I had displayed some of my many paintings of Pyrmont and Ultimo in previous UPtown festivals, but always inside the church hall which made them difficult to see. This time I was given a large tent and a prime position outside the local community's favourite watering hole, the Lord Wolseley. This delightful old pub, at the northern end of Quarry Green on Bulwara Road, is one of the narrowest in Sydney, but makes up for that in 'character'. Its interior boasts a bullet hole left in the pub mirror by Neddy Smith, who had rather shakily aimed at the bartender during the 1980's gangland wars. Those were the days!
Despite the heavy rain the festival drew a large crowd-the organizers estimated that there were over 4,000 people attending. I caught up with lots of people I hadn't seen for years and met many new residents who were interested to see what their suburb used to look like.The tent sheltered my 40 paintings and 2 large drawings, attached with cable ties to the 14 easels I had again borrowed from my long suffering mate John from the Australian Society of Marine Artists.  Lots of people helped me lug the easels from the Mustard Seed Centre where they were stored.
The paintings in this photo are some of my more recent Pyrmont artworks. In the foreground is the "Carpentaria and the James Craig" from just outside Wharf 7, and above it are 2 views of Jacksons Landing from Glebe Island Wharf and a painting of Pyrmont from the East Darling Harbour Wharves.

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