Sydney sketching : sketching Sydney. Postcode 2044. Freight train at Tempe.

September 6, 2011

Pencil, pen, W&N watercolour.

View from Richardson Crescent, Tempe, along mail southern railway line looking north, with Centrepoint Tower on the horizon.

This view is constantly changing as a result of the water levels in the stormwater channel. Massive containment areas and channels were built by “modern” convict labour during the 1890s Depression, in the wake of widespread low-lying flooding, west of Sydenham. Residents were moved out and the area given over to industry. Before white settlement, this valley between Marrickville and Sydenham ridges was an important wetland for local aborigines and came to be known as the Gumbramorra Swamp.

In Winter the deciduous trees are bare and cast no colourful reflections in the stormwater channel as they do in Autumn.  I can’t be sure but I suspect the coal trains travel through Sydney between Newcastle (the mines) and Wollongong (the port/steelworks); certainly this is the main railway line running south from Sydney along the coast.

I need to re-visit this. My watercolours are a lot muddier than the original scene would indicate.

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