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

Saturday, March 22, 2014

From the Tampa to Strictly Ballroom

I'll write a few posts about some of the paintings on display at my exhibition of Pyrmont paintings in the members lounge of the
Australian National Maritime Museum.
The first two paintings on the left hand wall of the room as you enter, were both painted from the roof of the half demolished Pyrmont Power Station a couple of years apart. I was very pleased that I was able to place these together so that viewers can understand the stages of development of this area of Pyrmont.
Pyrmont painting-plein air oil painting of Pyrmont in the  Australian National Maritime Museum. by industrial heritage artist Jane Bennett
P103 "From the roof of Pyrmont Power Station" 
1994 oil/canvas 92 x 122 cm 
$9,900

Enquiries about these paintings :


I was "Artist in Residence" at the Pyrmont Power Station for over a decade. At the time of painting these 2 works, it was partially demolished, yet still functional, and served the western side of the CBD as a source for power and lighting. It has now been replaced by Star City Casino.
The rhythmic sweeping lines curving under the bridge are remnants of the old Pyrmont goods line.This was once part of the former Metropolitan Goods Line. There was a goods line from Darling Harbour to Central that had been in existence from about 1856, but a loop line that completed a circuitous route of the inner suburbs became necessary when heavy industry expanded in the early 20th century. Diverging at Dulwich Hill it headed north beneath the Main Suburban line at Summer Hill to Lilyfield before heading east to Rozelle and Pyrmont, and then south under Railway Square through NSW's oldest tunnel to join the Main Suburban line outside Central. This line served the ports at Glebe Island (diverging via a spur from Lilyfield) and Darling Harbour and was approved on 23 November 1914, and the line was finally opened on 23 January 1922. The Darling Island/Darling Harbour section had 19km of track.
The John Street tunnel, a 124m double-track tunnel cut deep into the sandstone under Pyrmont Point, is still in use for the light rail.
During the 1970s and 1980s Darling Harbour traffic reduced considerably and the yards officially closed in October 1984. At vast expense, this goods line was torn up in June 1993 and replaced by the dubious benefit of light rail. Much of the trackbed was used for the light rail that opened to Wentworth Park in August 1997 and extended to Lilyfield in August 2000.
The pile of rubble in the centre marks where an old signal box in the Pyrmont Goods Yard had been just demolished. It was immortalized as the “Spanish café” in Baz Luhrmann's 1992 classic film “Strictly Ballroom”. One person’s eyesore is another’s urban icon.
The brilliant vermilion ship was the “MV Tampa”! It wasn’t notorious then, however! The “Tampa” was an early Mark 1 “ConRo” ( roll-on/roll-off container ship) completed in 1984 by Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., Ltd. in South Korea for the Norway based firm, then known as the “Barber Line” and later the “Wallenius Wilhelmsen Line”. It was extensively refurbished and another deck added before it was involved in the controversial event in August 2001 known afterwards as the "Tampa affair".
That wasn't the last scandal involving the MV Tampa.
In October 2006, MV Tampa was one of two Wilhelmsen ships involved in a cocaine-smuggling operation intercepted by the New Zealand Customs Service and the Australian Federal Police. Allegedly 27 kilograms of cocaine had been attached in purpose-built metal pods to the side of the 2 cargo ships bound for Australia. However the New Zealand authorities stated they did not believe the ship's crew or owners were involved.
At the time of this painting Jones Bay Road continued up to the land bridge which then bisected Darling Island and looped around the lower level of Darling Island
All of Jones Bay Road has since been renamed Pirrama Road except for a strange little stub of a street opposite Star Casino. Jones Bay Road used to loop around the whole peninsula, but now the entire street is only about 100 metres long, stretching from the Australian Thermite building ("Darling Island Bond and Free") on the corner at 12 Pyrmont Street, to an apartment block and the 2SM building on the corner of the escarpment.

P214 "Sydney Harbour from the top of the Pyrmont Power Station(building Star Casino)"
1997 oil/board 40 x 89 cm 
$3,800
Enquiries about these paintings :

In the early 1980s,when I first started to paint in Pyrmont, the brick building on the right hand side of this painting was the site of Pier 13, where so many immigrants first set foot on Australian soil. Pier 13 was still connected to Jones Bay Road by a land bridge. By the date of this painting, Pier 13 had been painted a gob-smackingly hideous shade of yellow and became first a dodgy carpet shop and later the equally dodgy temporary casino. As you can see, the land bridge has by now been demolished.
Pier 13 has since been replaced by 'Workplace 6', home of 'Google' and Paul Signorelli's restaurants 'Gastronomia' and 'Biaggio'.
The empty space in the centre of Darling Island has since been filled with offices and apartments, which ironically have been given wharf-like styling. Most of the real wharves had been demolished in the 1980s-1990s.



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Update:

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Pyrmont paintings past and present- My Exhibition in the Australian National Maritime Museum

Yesterday, today and tomorrow in Pyrmont.
I've been invited to exhibit a selection of 15 of my Pyrmont paintings in the members' lounge of the Australian National Maritime Museum.
This exhibition will still be on display throughout the annual Pyrmont festival in May, which culminates in a 2 day celebration of Art, Wine and Food in Pirrama Park, on the weekend of Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th May 2014.

exhibition of Pyrmont paintings by industrial heritage artist Jane Bennett in the members lounge of the Australian National Maritime Museum
My exhibition of Pyrmont paintings in the members lounge of the Australian National Maritime Museum
As usual, I will be exhibiting my smaller canvases and paintings on wood panels at the Park itself, however this display in the members lounge has given me a wonderful opportunity to show work that is impossible to display outdoors in the festival, such as works on paper framed under glass.


exhibition of Pyrmont paintings by industrial heritage artist Jane Bennett in the members lounge of the Australian National Maritime Museum
My exhibition of Pyrmont paintings in the members lounge of the Australian National Maritime Museum
This will set the paintings in context, as art history and topography combine.
exhibition of Pyrmont paintings by industrial heritage artist Jane Bennett in the members lounge of the Australian National Maritime Museum
My exhibition of Pyrmont paintings in the members lounge of the Australian National Maritime Museum
This is a view of the exhibition from the most comfy sofa in the middle of the members lounge.
exhibition of Pyrmont paintings by industrial heritage artist Jane Bennett in the members lounge of the Australian National Maritime Museum
P134A "The old Glebe Island Bridge from the CSR Rooftops"
1992 ink/paper 38 x 84 cm
$3,800

Enquiries about this painting :

 This quick sketch of the rooftops of the CSR Refinery and the Glebe Island swing bridge is hung behind the reception desk. I drew this from the top of the CSR Boilerhouse several years before the Anzac Bridge was built.
exhibition of Pyrmont paintings by industrial heritage artist Jane Bennett in the members lounge of the Australian National Maritime Museum
Left to right: 
P134A "The old Glebe Island Bridge from the CSR Rooftops"
1992 ink/paper 38 x 84 cm
$3,800
P23 "CSR from Pyrmont Point"
1997 ink/paper 30.5 x 40.5 cm
$1,400
Enquiries about these paintings :

exhibition of Pyrmont paintings by industrial heritage artist Jane Bennett in the members lounge of the Australian National Maritime Museum
Left to right:
P103 "From the roof of Pyrmont Power Station 
1994 oil/canvas 92 x 122 cm 
$9,900

P214 "Sydney Harbour from the top of the Pyrmont Power Station(building Star Casino)"
1997 oil/board 40 x 89 cm 
$3,800

P92 "Industrial Cathedral 2"
(‘Cooperage’, CSR Refinery) 1998 
oil/canvas 92 x 61 cm 
$6,600

Enquiries about these paintings :



exhibition of Pyrmont paintings by industrial heritage artist Jane Bennett in the members lounge of the Australian National Maritime Museum
Left to right and top to bottom: 

P92 "Industrial Cathedral 2" (‘Cooperage’, CSR Refinery) 1998
oil/canvas 92 x 61 cm

$6,600

P97B "Tumbledown cottage, 95 Pyrmont st (now demolished)" 1994 ink/paper 22 x 30 cm

$1,400

P31 "Jones Bay Wharf, 1" 1997 ink/paper 30.5 x 40.5 cm

$1,400
Enquiries about these paintings :

exhibition of Pyrmont paintings by industrial heritage artist Jane Bennett in the members lounge of the Australian National Maritime Museum
Left to right and top to bottom:
P97B "Tumbledown cottage, 95 Pyrmont st (now demolished)"
1994 ink/paper 22 x 30 cm
$1,400 
P31 "Jones Bay Wharf, 1"
1997 ink/paper 30.5 x 40.5 cm
$1,400
 O21  "Pyrmont, looking west from Observatory Hill"
1989 gouache/paper 34 x 75 cm
$3,500


Enquiries about these paintings :

exhibition of Pyrmont paintings by industrial heritage artist Jane Bennett in the members lounge of the Australian National Maritime Museum
 HCT13 "The 'Southern Cross' from the Harbour Control Tower (Pyrmont in the background) " 2007
 gouache/paper 30 x 50 cm
$1,800


Enquiries about this painting :

This is the most recent image of Pyrmont in this exhibition, although by now the wharf in the foreground has been completely demolished to make way for the controversial Barangaroo development. My studio in the control room of the Harbour Tower gave me a 360 degree birds eye view of Sydney Harbour, so this is a very unfamiliar aspect of the Pyrmont peninsula.
exhibition of Pyrmont paintings by industrial heritage artist Jane Bennett in the members lounge of the Australian National Maritime Museum
Left to right :

P120 "Jones Bay Wharf"  2000 pastel/paper 
76 x 56 cm 
$4,500

 P90 "CSR Sunset" 1998 oil/canvas 61 x 91 cm 
$6,600
P91 "CSR Refinery" 1994 acrylic/paper 76 x 56 cm
$4,500
Enquiries about these paintings :

exhibition of Pyrmont paintings by industrial heritage artist Jane Bennett in the members lounge of the Australian National Maritime Museum
Left to right :
P90 "CSR Sunset" 1998 oil/canvas 61 x 91 cm 
$6,600
P91 "CSR Refinery" 1994 acrylic/paper 76 x 56 cm
$4,500


Enquiries about these paintings :

 Two views of the CSR Refinery, which is now the Jackson's Landing development.


exhibition of Pyrmont paintings by industrial heritage artist Jane Bennett in the members lounge of the Australian National Maritime Museum
Left to right :
P80 "Pyrmont Power Station from Mill St 1"
1991 mixed media/paper 76 x 56 cm 
$4,500
P35 "Pyrmont Bond Stores(‘Darling Island Bond and Free’ 12 Pyrmont st)"
1996 ink/paper 30.5 x 40.5 cm 
$1,400
Enquiries about these paintings :

Two evocative ink and wash drawings are hung at the end corner of the room.
The glitzy Star Casino has now replaced the brooding ruins of the Pyrmont Power Station. 
However, in contrast the bond store at no. 12 Pyrmont street, known as "Darling Island Bond and Free" has changed so little  that I can't believe that nearly 2 decades has passed since I drew this moody ink and wash sketch.

exhibition of Pyrmont paintings by industrial heritage artist Jane Bennett in the members lounge of the Australian National Maritime Museum
Left to right:
P90 "CSR Sunset" 1998 oil/canvas 61 x 91 cm 
$6,600
P91 "CSR Refinery" 1994 acrylic/paper 76 x 56 cm

exhibition of Pyrmont paintings by industrial heritage artist Jane Bennett in the members lounge of the Australian National Maritime Museum
Left to right :

HCT13 "The 'Southern Cross' from the Harbour Control Tower (Pyrmont in the background) " 2007
 gouache/paper 30 x 50 cm
$1,800
P120 "Jones Bay Wharf" 
2000 pastel/paper 



76 x 56 cm

$4,500


Enquiries about these paintings :




exhibition of Pyrmont paintings by industrial heritage artist Jane Bennett in the members lounge of the Australian National Maritime Museum
On the right in the foreground :
 P36 "Ways Terrace from Lower Jones Bay Road"
1993 ink/paper 31 x 41 cm
$1,400
Enquiries about this painting :

exhibition of Pyrmont paintings by industrial heritage artist Jane Bennett in the members lounge of the Australian National Maritime Museum
Left to right :
P103 "From the roof of Pyrmont Power Station 
1994 oil/canvas 92 x 122 cm 
$9,900
P214 "Sydney Harbour from the top of the Pyrmont Power Station(building Star Casino)"
1997 oil/board 40 x 89 cm 
$3,800

Enquiries about these paintings :

The red ship in the background is the notorious ‘Tampa’, painted several years before the refugee incident.

exhibition of Pyrmont paintings by industrial heritage artist Jane Bennett in the members lounge of the Australian National Maritime Museum
Top to bottom:
P97B "Tumbledown cottage, 95 Pyrmont st (now demolished)"
1994 ink/paper 22 x 30 cm
$1,400
 P31 "Jones Bay Wharf, 1"
1997 ink/paper 30.5 x 40.5 cm
$1,400

Enquiries about these paintings :

exhibition of Pyrmont paintings by industrial heritage artist Jane Bennett in the members lounge of the Australian National Maritime Museum
Left to right and top to bottom:
P92 "Industrial Cathedral 2" (‘Cooperage’, CSR Refinery) 1998 oil/canvas 92 x 61 cm 
$6,600
P97B "Tumbledown cottage, 95 Pyrmont st (now demolished)" 1994 ink/paper 22 x 30 cm
$1,400 

P31 "Jones Bay Wharf, 1" 1997 ink/paper 30.5 x 40.5 cm
$1,400

Enquiries about these paintings :

An added bonus is that the Australian National Maritime Museum is very close to the sites where most of my paintings were created, so the viewers only have to step outside for a moment to grasp how much the landscape of the inner city suburb of Pyrmont has changed over the last 30 years.
Glimpses of Pyrmont's half forgotten industrial past can still be discerned through the manicured lawns and towers of high rise, but only if you know exactly what to look for.

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