Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney – Mordant Wing

September 4, 2012


5×8″ Daler Rowney sketchbook, HB pencil. This is the best grade of pencil for this paper: the marks it makes are ‘definite’ as well as being ‘scratchy’ or flexible, ideal for fine work. I did this as a warm-up from Platform 2 of Circular Quay Railway Station, prior to a Sydney Sketch Club meetup. The planes of the Mordant Wing, the new extension of the MCA, continue to elude me, mainly because the black panels do not differentiate themselves in sunlight. The building actually “eludes” being defined as a cube, which is very clever on the part of the architects. I leaned the sketchbook on the parapet but my hand went numb after half an hour or so.

After an hour sketching a panorama of Circular Quay East, I needed a break around 11am so went outside to finish off this view from Friday. The “in joke” is that it looks towards the house/studio of one of Sydney’s first archtiects, Francis Greenway. This is done sitting down under a giant fig tree (beware the resident Ibises) but is next to a garbage bin – the portable garbage collection van came around again while I was there. From this angle the white panels of the ‘cube’ are very daunting, but the laneway is very steep up to The Rocks. Police from the station (second last building) wandered down to check out the Sea Shepherd crowds, the “Steve Irwin” being open for inspection on this Father’s Day.

I think the only way I am going to get a handle on the Mordant Wing is to draw it face-on, storey by storey up to Level 4.


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