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

Monday, June 15, 2015

Open House

A not very architecturally distinguished housing commission in the hinterland of Glebe/Ultimo was being demolished in 2011. 
I jumped the fence and painted some small plein air canvases while it was being demolished.

plein air oil painting of housing commission apartments in Cowper Street Glebe/Ultimo by artist Jane Bennett
 "Half demolished apartment block in Cowper Street Glebe/Ultimo"
2011 oil on canvas 15 x 15cm 

$250 
Enquiries - janecooperbennett@gmail.com
 The 'Mirragang' at first sight looks quite presentable, until the lack of glass in the windows hints at something not quite right....

plein air oil painting of housing commission apartments in Cowper Street Glebe/Ultimo by artist Jane Bennett
  'Open Plan'  -half demolished apartment block
in Cowper Street Glebe/Ultimo 
2011 oil on canvas 10 x 15cm
$150
Enquiries - janecooperbennett@gmail.com

The shell of the 'Mirragang' apartments on the left, and the 'Mirrabooka' on the right, frame the handsome dark brick building in the centre.
This former wool bond store, the Farmers and Graziers No 2 Store, was the last of the great bond stores, and replaced a swath of houses in 1936.
The low-lying swampy area of Glebe and Ultimo has always been known for cheap and often nasty housing.


 From the 1850s onwards, a jumble of workshops, slaughter yards, boiling-down works and other scrappy industries sprang up around the waters of Blackwattle Creek.  Cramped cottages without water or sewerage, were erected by landlords for the working poor.  People lived cheek by jowl with domestic animals. Refuse and offal from the slaughter yards often remained to rot on the mudflats.
However uninspired these redbrick tower blocks looked, they were a vast improvement on their predecessors.
plein air oil painting of housing commission apartments in Cowper Street Glebe/Ultimo by artist Jane Bennett
 'Open House' -
2011 oil on canvas 25 x 20cm

$450 
Enquiries - janecooperbennett@gmail.com

The patch of sky behind the half-demolished windows gives a feeling of a stage set.
These 15 public housing apartment blocks in Cowper Street, Glebe, were demolished by the state Labor government in 2011, resulting in the eviction of 130 tenants. Although new housing on the site was promised, to be funded by the proceeds of money raised by the sale of 99-year leases to Millers Point terraces, the land was left vacant for years as a development application was lodged and contested in court.
The O'Farrell cabinet approved construction plans for 153 public housing units, 95 affordable housing units and 247 private apartments on the site in 2013.
Now the Baird government has finally announced plans to rebuild this demolished public housing estate on Cowper Street as a mixed private, public and affordable housing community.

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