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

Friday, July 8, 2011

White Bay Power Station : Inside Out

Inside the Boiler House of White Bay Power Station
Painting the chimney stacks from inside the Boiler House.
It's so dark inside that it is difficult to take photos and I've never really learned how to use the flash properly.
I had always meant to do more painting inside this room. It has always lost out to the more spectacular turbine hall and the iconic Mullens St facade with the strong diagonal of the coal loader zig-zagging across the towering stacks.

This vast cavernous room is about absence rather than presence. Three out of the four original boilers have been removed, leaving gaping voids. Talk about 'negative space'! The room reeks of loss.
Painting inside the Boiler House
I balanced the exterior space revealed by the open rusting door with the muted light coming through the window. Under the window, sheets of rusting corrugated iron are also letting in some light as they are disintegrating at the edges and pierced with holes.
The parallel vertical lines of the window sheeting contrast with the horizontal pattern of the iron. The severe geometry is interrupted by a mad little squiggle of barbed wire perches on top of the corrugated iron sheeting with a baroque flourish.

The finished painting 
"Inside the Boiler House of White Bay Power Station" 
2011 oil on board 51 x 25cm 
For sale - $1,400 
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