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, February 6, 2014

The Phantom Toll House

Plein air oil painting of Windsor Tollhouse by artist Jane Bennett
Starting "Windsor Tollhouse" 2014 oil on canvas 25 x 51cm

 Enquiries 

By noon I had finished the first small oil study and started a larger canvas to reveal the Tollhouse in the context of the surrounding landscape.
The exterior of the Tollhouse had been lovingly restored in 1997.
I had heard that a local historical society used to open it for tours, but it looks as though it has not been opened for several years at least.


Plein air oil painting of Windsor Tollhouse by artist Jane Bennett
Starting "Windsor Tollhouse" 2014 
oil on canvas 25 x 51cm
Enquiries 
The 1974 version of Fitzroy Bridge is the 5th incarnation of the bridge over South Creek.Plein air oil painting of Windsor Tollhouse by artist Jane Bennett
Painting "Windsor Tollhouse" 2014 oil on canvas 25 x 51cm

 Enquiries 
In contrast to the current surroundings, this 1875 photo of the Tollhouse with the "Jolly Frog"  shows  the prominent place the Jolly Frog and Toll House once played as gate posts leading into Windsor.

Plein air oil painting of Windsor Tollhouse by artist Jane Bennett
Painting "Windsor Tollhouse" 2014 oil on canvas 25 x 51cm
Enquiries 
As you can see in this photo, the Tollhouse is invisible from the main road. Unfortunately despite its site as Windsor's heritage gateway it isn't able to function as a tourist drawcard.

The bridge definitely needs to be at this level or even higher, due to frequent  flooding, so there is no easy solution to the problem of the Tollhouse.
Plein air oil painting of Windsor Tollhouse by artist Jane Bennett
Painting "Windsor Tollhouse" 2014 oil on canvas 25 x 51cm
Enquiries 
 The land is close to the river, and even more prone to flooding than the other side of the road which is slightly more elevated. TheTollhouse is now buried deep in a hole.

Plein air oil painting of Windsor Tollhouse by artist Jane Bennett
"Windsor Tollhouse" 2014 oil on canvas 25 x 51cm
Enquiries 
In the shadow of the concrete wall, this little heritage gem stands no chance of becoming the tourist drawcard that it so richly deserves to be.
Plein air oil painting of Windsor Tollhouse by artist Jane Bennett
"Windsor Tollhouse" 2014 oil on canvas 25 x 51cm
Enquiries 
 I managed to complete  this painting by 5.30 pm.
Plein air oil painting of Windsor Tollhouse by artist Jane Bennett
"Windsor Tollhouse" 2014 oil on canvas 25 x 51cm

Enquiries 
What a contrast between the sensitivity of the texture of the convict cut sandstone blocks and the brutality of the concrete aggregate wall!
I think that my painting really expresses the feeling of claustrophobia given by the oppressive concrete wall looming over the Toll House. The wall has a threatening, almost malevolent appearance, and the building seems to be in danger of being buried by it.

No comments: