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, June 19, 2015

The triumph of the machines

In April I was asked to paint some of the last manual port movements at the Patrick terminal in Port Botany.
Now the containers are still being unloaded by port workers, but automated straddle cranes stack the containers onto trucks, replacing many port workers.
I was permitted to paint and set up my easel a week before the April change-over.

plein air oil painting by artist Jane Bennett of the last non automated straddle cranes operating at Patrick Terminal Port Botany
Painting a panorama of Port Botany 31 x 153cm oil on canvas 2015
Enquiries : janecooperbennett@gmail.com

My viewpoint was from a narrow balcony above a 2 storey gatehouse. On the ground floor was the First Aid room, while on the top floor port workers facing redundancy were receiving career advice.
plein air oil painting by artist Jane Bennett of the last non automated straddle cranes operating at Patrick Terminal Port Botany
Painting a panorama of Port Botany 31 x 153cm oil on canvas 2015
Enquiries : janecooperbennett@gmail.com
From my vantage point I could see the yard being prepared for the new automated system.
plein air oil painting by artist Jane Bennett of the last non automated straddle cranes operating at Patrick Terminal Port Botany
Painting a panorama of Port Botany 31 x 153cm oil on canvas 2015
Enquiries : janecooperbennett@gmail.com
In the centre, concrete barriers were arranged in grids to seperate the trucks from the construction.To the right, the giant stacks of containers were removed, leaving an eerily empty yard.
plein air oil painting by artist Jane Bennett of the last non automated straddle cranes operating at Patrick Terminal Port Botany
Painting a panorama of Port Botany 31 x 153cm oil on canvas 2015
Enquiries : janecooperbennett@gmail.com
To the left is the new observation tower, as yet unmanned, where the new Autostrads will be controlled by radar.
plein air oil painting by artist Jane Bennett of the last non automated straddle cranes operating at Patrick Terminal Port Botany
Painting a panorama of Port Botany 31 x 153cm oil on canvas 2015
Enquiries : janecooperbennett@gmail.com
At night it looked empty and lonely. As the new driverless vehicles are remotely controlled, there won't be the same requirement for lighting the yard.
plein air oil painting by artist Jane Bennett of the last non automated straddle cranes operating at Patrick Terminal Port Botany
Painting the giant straddle cranes  Port Botany 75 x 100cm oil on canvas 2015
Enquiries : janecooperbennett@gmail.com
At the moment, the giant straddle cranes are still operating with drivers.
plein air oil painting by artist Jane Bennett of the last non automated straddle cranes operating at Patrick Terminal Port Botany
Painting the giant straddle cranes  Port Botany 75 x 100cm oil on canvas 2015
Enquiries : janecooperbennett@gmail.com
One day the giant straddle cranes and even the trucks may become driverless.
plein air oil painting by artist Jane Bennett of the last non automated straddle cranes operating at Patrick Terminal Port Botany
Paintings of Port Botany
Left to right: the giant straddle cranes  Port Botany 75 x 100cm oil on canvas 2015
 giant straddle cranes  Port Botany 100 x 75cm oil on canvas 2015
Night panorama straddle cranes  Port Botany 31 x 153cm oil on canvas 2015
 Port Botany panorama 31 x 153cm oil on canvas 2015

Enquiries : janecooperbennett@gmail.com
plein air oil painting by artist Jane Bennett of the last non automated straddle cranes operating at Patrick Terminal Port Botany
Night,containers,  Port Botany 25 x 31cm oil on canvas 2015
Night, Port Botany panorama 20 x 40cm oil on canvas 2015
Enquiries : janecooperbennett@gmail.com
plein air oil painting by artist Jane Bennett of the last non automated straddle cranes operating at Patrick Terminal Port Botany
Night,containers,  Port Botany 25 x 31cm oil on canvas 2015
Night, Port Botany panorama 20 x 40cm oil on canvas 2015
Enquiries : janecooperbennett@gmail.com
I know that it's all in the name of efficiency, but when I left, it looked like a ghost town. As the last ship before the changeover was unloaded, a line formed of the old straddle cranes which were due to be scrapped soon after.
Ominously, I had met some of the same people both delivering and receiving career advice 7 years earlier when the East Darling Harbour Wharves  closed down to become Barangaroo.

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