The Last of the Hungry Mile - Demolition of the Wharves

Wharf Skeleton

Demolition of Wharf 3, East Darling Harbour
'Wharf Skeleton' 2008 charcoal drawing on paper 75 x 100cm
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Instead of a simple record of appearances, I wanted to convey the feeling of being inside a vast and ancient monument that dwarfs the normal human scale. All that remains is the skeletal roof of a ghostly wharf. 
I was influenced by Piranesi’s etchings which exploited every trick of perspective to transform prosaic renditions of Roman ruins into hallucinatory visions of frustration and oppression. Piranesi used dramatic contrasts of light and shade to destroy the rationality of Classical architecture and intensify the power of the forms until they become a source of dread and melancholy. In common with the ruins favoured by Piranesi, this wharf is a decayed andvandalized relic of an earlier civilization.
The  ‘lost’ world of the Industrial age is within our own lifetime, instead of a couple of millennia ago, yet the history and purposes of its buildings are already strange and almost incomprehensible to most  people.

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: "Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown
And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear:
`My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings:
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!'
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away". 
Demolition of Wharf 3 
Time lapse

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