Friday, January 7, 2011

White Ship with Black Hawks-The 'Pacific Jewel' at Barangaroo

'Pacific Jewel at Wharf 5, Barangaroo, with Black Hawk helicopters
2010 oil painting on canvas 31 x 103cm

Buzzing Around

A training exercise (hopefully). This happened several times during September - November 2010. Must have scared the passengers out of their wits! The huge Black Hawk helicopters reminded me of giant blowflies buzzing around a flaked out sunbather.
Strangely enough, not long afterwards they had a real problem. Something mechanical went wrong with the Pacific Jewel. I don't know whether it was an engine problem or a propeller problem, but the ship had to cool its heels for quite a while, first at Barangaroo, then for over a week at Glebe Island and finally at Captain Cook dry dock over at Garden Island. I have painted an example of each site, and will post them at my other blog Industrial Revelation  soon.

This is painted from just inside the LendLease enclosure at the north-western end. I was chased away from the demolition activity down at the southern end and was grateful for all the aviation activity to add a different focus to the painting.
The diagonals of the white tents contrast with the darker, more classically inspired dockyard bond stores and historic hotels of Millers Point and Hickson Road to the right of the canvas. 
A light pole neatly bisects the canvas into new wharf to the left and old (or comparatively old) buildings to the right. LendLease had just finished removing all the powerpoles from their section of the wharf, leaving just a few of the yellow bollards sticking out, uselessly. In the centre distance of this painting, you can see some of these relics standing like a few jagged broken teeth in the toothless jaw of an old wharfie.
I must say that I don't care much for the Palisade Hotel's newly renovated roof garden. The shade sails might be practical but they spoil the charm of the stepped roof line, giving it a blocky, squared off look. However this will probably be the least of Millers point's architectural problems given all the changes in store for this previously sleepy and overlooked area.

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