Sydney solo sketchcrawl, Central to Town Hall

December 28, 2012

freight train tempe

Coal trucks (left) passing Tempe Railway Station: a spare 20mins before my train to Sydney city. A new power station is being built (right) opposite Belmore Park at Central Station. This is the undeveloped area next to the power station looking up Pitt Street, past the 1902 hotel on the corner of Pitt and Campbell Streets to Centrepoint Tower in the distance. My presence certainly excited the interest of at least one local shopkeeper. There is another interesting view from across the road outside the Thai grocery shop which is worth returning for. Back with my beloved graphite pencil 2B on buff paper, 5×8″ Daler-Rowney 150g sketchbook, with watercolour/gouache wash added later at home.

sydney town hall

I’d forgotten how glorious the Corporation Building in Hay Street (left) is, once the home to an excellent Buddhist vegetarian restaurant, though long-term tenant Cyril’s Delicatessen is still there. I believe it once belonged to the City of Sydney. It was, in any case, designed by George McRae, City Architect, in 1893. Apperly quite rightly notes its “sprightly design of fine brickwork and terracotta”, one of such buildings in this style and from this era in the Haymarket area. It is now, of course, hemmed in by modern skyscrapers. Unfortunately I had to do this thumbnail standing up, hard up against the back of the Capitol Theatre building. Worth returning to sketch in greater detail. The Sydney Town Hall is currently being renovated but I couldn’t help wanting to capture the billboard covering up the tower with its oversized photo of the original. The people below were a mix of bus passengers in George Street and outdoor diners in St Andrew’s Cathedral Square, now the repository of beach furniture – I forgotten the English word, but it’s sdraio in Italian – for the general public to lounge in.

sydney town hall organ

A huge crowd of Sydney Sketch Club meetup colleagues turned up for the organ recital at the Sydney Town Hall at lunchtime. It featured eleven young organists, whose average age tended to be about 14, with the youngest aged 8 (he had to take his shoes off because the only way he can reach the pedals is by standing on them), concurrent with the Sydney Summer Organ Academy’s get-together at Shore School. The instrument was given a thorough workout prior to being closed down for the next few months for documentation, renovation, cleaning and re-tuning. I was extremely impressed by the J.S.Bach Prelude & Fugue in C (BWV 547).  An extremely challenging subject, given the towering flatness of it all – and as Baroque as you can get in a place like Sydney, with gold on white and pipes in blue-purple.

I didn’t get a chance to draw colleagues over lunch – the conversation was much too intense for that and went for hours.


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