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, April 15, 2011

Ghost ship - ex-HMAS Adelaide at Glebe - Part 2

In search of an afterlife



HMAS Adelaide was decommissioned in 2008 and prepared for scuttling as a dive wreck during late 2009 and early 2010.

Her mast was removed, dangerous materials and toxins were removed, and access holes were cut in the ship's flanks.

She was originally intended to be sunk off Avoca Beach, New South Wales on 27 March 2010, 1.7 kilometres (1.1 mi) offshore from Avoca Beach, New South Wales, in 32 metres (105 ft) of water.


Marine Art-plein air oil painting of ex HMAS Adelaide at Glebe Island Wharf by marine and industrial heritage artist Jane Bennett
"The ex-HMAS Adelaide on Glebe Island wharf" 2010 
 oil on canvas 30 x 61 cm
Sold

$2,000
Enquiries about similar paintings - janecooperbennett@gmail.com
        For information and price list -Artist information page
By late 2009 the Baulderstone group had left the northern end of Glebe Island, leaving it clear for the ex- HMAS Adelaide.
At the southern end, the 'Thor Kis' arrived with cable which would later be laid under Port Botany.
McMahons Services started preparing the ex-HMAS Adelaide for scuttling, which was then earmarked for March 27th 2010.

plein air oil painting of truck and salt ship at Glebe Island by artist Jane Bennett
'Salt Truck at Glebe, with the 'Thevenard' 2010 oil on canvas 
15 x 30cm



Sold
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I painted some other interesting visitors to the wharf.
In this painting you can see the ex- HMAS Adelaide lurking in the background behind a giant mound of salt being poured on the wharf from the salt ship 'CSL Thevenard'. This salt was then loaded into trucks and driven down to chemical plants at Port Botany.

Marine Art-plein air oil painting of ex HMAS Adelaide at Glebe Island Wharf by marine and industrial heritage artist Jane Bennett
Painting the 'Adelaide' on the wharf
Enquiries about this painting - janecooperbennett@gmail.com
        For information and price list -Artist information page

Artist Jane Bennett at her easel painting plein air canvas of ex HMAS Adelaide at Glebe Island Wharf by marine and industrial heritage artist Jane Bennett
Painting the 'Adelaide' on the wharf
Enquiries about this painting - janecooperbennett@gmail.com
        For information and price list -Artist information page
These 2 photos show me at work on the painting shown below. This large canvas, 61 x 183cm, really pushed the boundaries of what is physically possible in plein air painting. 
When it became windy I would have to lie the canvas flat on the ground, or I would end up chasing it and my easel all over the wharf.
Artists easel and palette Ex-HMAS Adelaide at Glebe Island wharf plein air oil painting by artist Jane Bennett
My easel and palette - gone with the wind ! Painting Ex-HMAS Adelaide at Glebe Island wharf en plein air

Ex-HMAS Adelaide at Glebe Island wharf plein air oil painting by artist Jane Bennett
Ex-HMAS Adelaide at Glebe Island wharf -plein air oil painting
2011 oil on canvas 61 x 183cm
$11,000
Enquiries about this painting - janecooperbennett@gmail.com
        For information and price list -Artist information page

Ex-HMAS Adelaide at Glebe Island wharf oil painting by artist Jane Bennett
"The ex-HMAS Adelaide on Glebe Island wharf"
2011 oil on canvas 61 x 183 cm

$11,000
Enquiries about this painting - janecooperbennett@gmail.com
        For information and price list -Artist information page
     
On the right hand side of this painting is the OES Barge. This finally left Glebe Island wharf for White Bay in June 2010, 1 day before leaving Sydney Harbour to lay cables under Botany Bay.

Scuttlebutt
I had rushed to complete this, as some of the people on the wharf were quite interested in acquiring a work.
I needn't have hurried, as a literally last minute decision pulled the plug on the scuttling.
Over a year of apparently interminable rolling legal action ensued before the end of the saga.
An appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal by a local and vocal
protest group 3 days before the sinking saw the project placed on hold until the case can be heard in full.
The case was originally to have been heard on 5 May, but was then postponed to July.
Finally the federal judge, Justice Garry Downes, president of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, approved the project but imposed stringent new conditions.
His decision ended a legal battle which had lasted almost six months. On 15 September, the Tribunal ruled that the scuttling of the ship could go ahead after the removal of any remaining wiring, canvas, insulation, and exfoliating red lead paint.
The delays caused by the tribunal hearing meant that instead of costing the original $5.8 million assigned to the scuttling project, the tribunal hearing, additional cleanup, and berthing fees brought the total cost to $8.5 million.
The ship was still there, looking a little forlorn until the dawn of April 11th when it embarked on its final triumphant journey to its final resting spot off North Avoca.
plein air oil painting of Ex HMAS Adelaide departing Glebe Island at dawn by artist Jane Bennett
"Ex HMAS Adelaide departing Glebe Island at dawn" 2011
oil on canvas 112 x 183cm

$13,000


Enquiries about this painting:
janecooperbennett@gmail.com

                                          
        For information and price list -Artist information page


Her last journey, accompanied by the 'Woona'. The other tug was hidden by the bulk of the ship.

I met up with her again in Terrigal, a couple of days before the sinking and painted her last moments before her new life as an artificial reef.
There was a dramatic viewpoint of her from a rocky cove beneath the imposing "Skillion".

plein air oil painting of Ex HMAS Adelaide off North Avoca painted on the Skillion at sunset by artist Jane Bennett
'Ex HMAS Adelaide from the 'Skillion' at sunset '2011
oil on canvas 15 x 30cm $330
sold

PRIVATE COLLECTION : TERRIGAL
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plein air oil painting of Ex HMAS Adelaide off North Avoca painted on the Skillion in the morning by artist Jane Bennett
"Ex HMAS Adelaide from the 'Skillion' the next morning" 
2011 oil on canvas 25 x 51cm
$1,400


Enquiries about this painting:
janecooperbennett@gmail.com

        For information and price list -Artist information page

I also painted her from a lookout next to the surf club at North Avoca Beach.
plein air oil painting of Ex HMAS Adelaide  painted from North Avoca in the morning by artist Jane Bennett
"Ex HMAS Adelaide from North Avoca" 2011
oil on canvas 31 x 61cm
$2,000

Enquiries about this painting:
janecooperbennett@gmail.com

        For information and price list -Artist information page


plein air oil painting of Ex HMAS Adelaide  painted from North Avoca in the morning by artist Jane Bennett
Painting "Ex HMAS Adelaide from North Avoca" 2011
oil on canvas 31 x 61cm

$2,000
Enquiries about this painting:

        For information and price list -Artist information page


Ex HMAS Adelaide was finally successfully sunk at midday on Wednesday April 13th. As if all the previous nail biting suspense hadn't been enough, there was over an hour long wait for an inquisitive pod of dolphins to move out of the area.
I watched and sketched its final moments above water barely 300 metres away from Andrew MacMahon's huge white boat "Strictly Business, which you can see in the distance in the painting below.
The next day I painted the same spot where the ship had been from the same vantage point next to the Skillion.

plein air oil painting of Ex HMAS Adelaide  painted from North Avoca in the morning by artist Jane Bennett
Painting the Adelaide from North Avoca 13th April 2011
''Strictly Business' from the 'Skillion' Terrigal (Adelaide underwater) '
oil on canvas 31 x 61cm
$2,000

Enquiries about this painting:
janecooperbennett@gmail.com

        For information and price list -Artist information page


For a long time it had seemed as though the ship would remain in limbo.
All the drama was worth it in the end.
It has succeeded as an artificial reef beyond the wildest dreams of its creators.
Recently I was painting a commission at Chowder Bay, Clifton Gardens, which is the headquarters of SIMS, the Sydney Harbour Institute of Marine Science. The marine scientists raved for hours about the wonderful diversity and abundance of marine species newly inhabiting the artificial reef.

Ghost ship - ex-HMAS Adelaide at Glebe - Part 1

Arrival
Marine Art-plein air oil painting of ex HMAS Adelaide at Glebe Island Wharf by marine and industrial heritage artist Jane Bennett
'Ex HMAS Adelaide arrives at Glebe Island wharf' 
2009 oil on canvas 31 x 61cm
$2,000
Enquiries - janecooperbennett@gmail.com


For information and price list -Artist information page
A new visitor arrives in September 2009 to Glebe Island wharf. This painting was completed a few days after its unheralded arrival.

A little slice of history
The HMAS Adelaide had a distinguished and varied career. Some highlights included  participation in the Australian responses  to the 1987 Fijian coups d'état, the Iraq invasion of Kuwait, the Indonesian riots of May 1998, the INTERFET peacekeeping taskforce, the War in Afghanistan, and the United States-led invasion of Iraq.
The frigate rescued two competitors  in the 1996–97 Vendee Globe solo round-the-world yacht race when in January 1997, the yachts of Thierry Dubois and Tony Bullimore capsized. 
The HMAS Adelaide 's most notorious moment (until, of course, her proposed scuttling off Terrigal and Avoca) came in 2001, when she intercepted a boat known as SIEV 4 carrying suspected illegal immigrants.This  interception became the centre of the Children overboard affair.


Action!

Marine Art-plein air oil painting of ex HMAS Adelaide at Glebe Island Wharf by marine and industrial heritage artist Jane Bennett
'Action men' 2009 
oil painting on canvas 31 x 31cm
$990


For information and price list -Artist information page

Marine Art-plein air oil painting of ex HMAS Adelaide at Glebe Island Wharf by marine and industrial heritage artist Jane Bennett
'Action men' 2009 oil on canvas 31 x 61cm
Sold
COLLECTION : ACTION CRANES
$2,000
Enquiries about similar paintings- janecooperbennett@gmail.com


Marine Art-plein air oil painting of ex HMAS Adelaide at Glebe Island Wharf by marine and industrial heritage artist Jane Bennett
 'Action cranes with the Adelaide' 
2009 oil on canvas 38 x 76cm


$3,500
Enquiries - janecooperbennett@gmail.com

        For information and price list -Artist information page
The first sign of the flurry of activity to come. The men from 'Action Cranes' start to remove railings. 
I painted close up details of the men at work, as well as a panorama of the ship positioned between the pillars of the Anzac Bridge, with its strings providing a dramatic counterpoint to the mast. 
At this stage the ship was at the southern end of the wharf. At the northern end, I had been painting Baulderstone Hornibrook's construction of a screed and shear leg for the Port Botany Expansion Project. I became annoyed and frustrated at middle management's mindless and onerous conditions while painting this project, which seemed specifically designed to prevent me painting anything halfway interesting without actually contributing to anyone's health or safety. As a plein air painter who has been used to painting under conditions that would scare most artists out of 10 years growth, it takes quite a bit to annoy or frustrate me! At first I was sad that coping with Baulderstone was too much like beating my head against a brick wall for me to continue painting their project, but it was a blessing in disguise!
I had no idea how gripping the saga of the ex-HMAS Adelaide would become!
On the extreme left hand side of the last painting in this post is a strange contraption with white columns. This was a drill rig starting exploratory drilling for the ill-fated Sydney Metro project, which was finally shelved in early 2010 after a great deal of controversy.

Soon the controversy surrounding the scuttling of the ex-HMAS Adelaide would even rival the debate over the Metro!