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, April 22, 2017

City larrikins, past and present


I took advantage of a public holiday  and an almost deserted CBD, to try to record some of the buildings in Castlereagh St that will soon be demolished to make way for new metro stations around Martin Place.

plein air oil Painting  of Panorama of Castlereagh st, from Hunter st to Martin Place' by industrial heritage artist Jane Bennett
Painting 'Panorama of Castlereagh st, from Hunter st to Martin Place' 2017 oil on canvas 31 x 103cm
Enquiries : janecooperbennett@gmail.com
 
I took a panoramic canvas to try to squeeze in as much of the streetscape as possible.
On this canvas I've managed to get the lovely Art Deco building on the north corner of Hunter and Castlereagh St, 55 Hunter St, 10 - 12 Castlereagh st and a doorway of the lovely old Commonwealth Bank building that now houses Macquarie Bank.
plein air oil Painting  of Panorama of Castlereagh st, from Hunter st to Martin Place' by industrial heritage artist Jane Bennett
Painting 'Panorama of Castlereagh st, from Hunter st to Martin Place' 2017 oil on canvas 31 x 103cm
Enquiries : janecooperbennett@gmail.com
 
Ironically there is a keystone in the Macquarie Bank building that was placed there by the controversial NSW premier Jack Lang, who once attempted to nationalize the banks and cancel Australia's war debts to the UK. I can't help wondering what Jack Lang would have thought of Macquarie Bank!
plein air oil Painting  of Panorama of Castlereagh st, from Hunter st to Martin Place' by industrial heritage artist Jane Bennett
Painting 'Panorama of Castlereagh st, from Hunter st to Martin Place' 2017 oil on canvas 31 x 103cm
Enquiries : janecooperbennett@gmail.com
Several skateboarders and parkour experts can just be seen in the distance, grouped on the stairs of the soon to be demolished 17 storey building at 55 Hunter street.
Unfortunately I had to break the news to them that their favourite ramps and railings at 55 Hunter St that they practise their jumps and turns on will soon be demolished. They will make the most of their unofficial skate park until it is knocked down next month, and entertained me with over 2 hours of death defying jumps, twists and somersaults.
plein air oil Painting  of Panorama of Castlereagh st, from Hunter st to Martin Place' by industrial heritage artist Jane Bennett
Painting 'Panorama of Castlereagh st, from Hunter st to Martin Place' 2017 oil on canvas 31 x 103cm
Enquiries : janecooperbennett@gmail.com

There seems to be something about this street corner that attracts larrikins, past and present.
A trio of slightly less acrobatic larrikins of the past, also used this unassuming corner of the CBD to rattle the cage of conservative society over 50 years ago.
A famous copper sculpture by Tom Bass, bites into the Hunter street facade of this office block. It had been commissioned by P&O as a wall fountain  in 1961, and was intended to be seen as a purely abstract design. 
However, when this work was unveiled, its indirect resemblance to a Parisian pissoir and its position opposite the French Airline Office, led to a notorious lampoon in the 6th edition of Oz magazine. The editors of Oz magazine, Richard Neville, Richard Walsh and Martin Sharp, were charged, tried and sentenced to jail with hard labour for "obscenity and encouraging public urination", although the defendants subsequently appealed against the sentences, which were revoked.

plein air oil Painting  of Panorama of Castlereagh st, from Hunter st to Martin Place' by industrial heritage artist Jane Bennett
Painting 'Panorama of Castlereagh st, from Hunter st to Martin Place' 2017 oil on canvas 31 x 103cm
Enquiries : janecooperbennett@gmail.com

Tom Bass wasn't offended by the Oz magazine send up of his sculpture, and actually appeared in the trial for the defendants.
plein air oil Painting  of Panorama of Castlereagh st, from Hunter st to Martin Place' by industrial heritage artist Jane Bennett
Painting 'Panorama of Castlereagh st, from Hunter st to Martin Place' 2017 oil on canvas 31 x 103cm
Enquiries : janecooperbennett@gmail.com
 
Through the Chifley arcade are a couple of other buildings due for demolition, 5-7 Elizabeth street. 7 Elizabeth street is an elegant art-deco apartment block, recently vacated by its reluctant ex-residents.

1 comment:

Julie said...

I will n
ote all these addresses down. I will be in the city tomorrow and again on Tuesday, so want to get one last look ...