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

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Terminus Redux

I have mixed feelings about the renovation of the Terminus. Although it has been restored,not demolished and replaced by apartment blocks as so often happens, yet to me, it has been stripped of some of its poetry.
plein air ink, charcoal and pastel drawing on paper of the Terminus Hotel Pyrmont by industrial heritage artist Jane Bennet
P286A 'Terminus Redux' 2017-8 ink, charcoal, pastel on paper 131 x 106cm

I painted a large mixed media work on paper, as well as an even larger oil on canvas, just before the iconic vines were removed. The awning had been stripped back to a fragile skeleton, but the bricks had yet to be sand-blasted.
However well a place is renovated, inevitably there must be compromises between keeping the original character and making it a viable business.
No expense was spared on the fitout.The designers and architects have done their best to  restore the old pub building while retaining quite a lot of the original pub from tiles to timber. The pressed metal ceiling upstairs is a sympathetic replacement not the original, which was too badly damaged.  
plein air oil painting on canvas of the Terminus Hotel Pyrmont by industrial heritage artist Jane Bennet
 P286 'Terminus Redux' 2017-8 oil on canvas 122 x 183cm

I miss the vines which once covered the facade. They had probably been planted early in the 20th century by a CSR employee, as the same species of Virginia creeper covered the manager's residence and the courtyard of the 'Rum Store'.
Recently I attended the launch of Shirley Fitzgerald's wonderful book on the history of the Terminus. I was honoured that Shirley had asked me to contribute a photo of one of my paintings of the Terminus facing opposite its longtime companion and rival, the Pyrmont Point Hotel (aka the Royal Pacific).
plein air oil painting on canvas of the Terminus Hotel, the Pyrmont Point Hotel and the Anzac Bridge in Pyrmont by industrial heritage artist Jane Bennet
P252 'The Terminus and the Point' 2011 oil on canvas 31 x 61cm
Private Collection : Sydney
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When I went upstairs, I almost walked into one of the walls, not from one too many cocktails, but because I had expected the hall that once led through to the building next door. I believe that this passageway had to be closed off due to updated fire regulations.

There is a typical pub menu, priced rather steeply, to cash in on the hipster ambience from  the 32 years that the Terminus spent as an icon of urban decay. Ironically, the few times that I had visited the Terminus prior to its closure in the early 1980s, they were giving out free food. Possibly this had contributed to its original decline and fall. The new owners certainly aren't making that mistake, but have possibly erred in the opposite direction.
It's also ironic that despite having kept the ghost sign outside, no Resch's is on tap.