Industrial Cathedral

Industrial Cathedral
"Industrial Cathedral" charcoal drawing on paper 131 x 131 cm Jane Bennett. This drawing was a finalist in the 1998 Dobell Prize for Drawing (Art Gallery of N.S.W.) ; Finalist in 1998 Blake Prize for Religious Art ; Winner of 1998 Hunter's Hill Open Art Prize

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Revenant

plein air oil painting of heritage carriage inside the Large Erecting Shop, Eveleigh Railway Workshops by industrial heritage artist Jane Bennett
Starting painting of'703 HFA' 2017 oil on canvas 122 x 91cm
$11,000
 
Revenant : an animated ghost or zombie believed to have revived to haunt the living.
Derived from the Latin word reveniens, "returning" 

The 703 HFA has been languishing up on stumps awaiting a restoration to past glory that will probably never happen.
This heritage wooden carriage was severely damaged in a tragic accident at Cowan on 6th May 1990, and has been sitting forlornly at the eastern end of the Large Erecting Shop in the Eveleigh Railway Workshops ever since. 
plein air oil painting of heritage carriage inside the Large Erecting Shop, Eveleigh Railway Workshops by industrial heritage artist Jane Bennett
Starting painting of '703 HFA' 2017 oil on canvas 122 x 91cm
$11,000

When the steam locomotive 3801 was returning from the Morpeth Jazz Festival, it  struggled to climb the steep Cowan Bank, then stopped. To assist gripping, sand was then applied to the track, but unfortunately this caused the signals to malfunction. The signals apparently changed from red to green several times. After the signals had been green for a few moments, giving a false indication that the track was clear ahead, a CityRail Interurban passenger service entered the tunnel behind 3801 and crashed into the back of 3801's train. 
6 people lost their lives, including the driver of the intercity electric, and a passenger in the V Set's cab. An investigation into the crash suggested the handbrake in one of the carriages may also have been applied. 
plein air oil painting of heritage carriage inside the Large Erecting Shop, Eveleigh Railway Workshops by industrial heritage artist Jane Bennett
'703 HFA' 2017 oil on canvas 122 x 91cm
$11,000
There have been sporadic episodes of restoration over the past 27 years, which were curtailed due to lack of funds, manpower or commitment. 
A restored carriage would be a symbolic triumph over the past tragedy, but this would be a difficult and expensive task. The dented frame of the carriage has severe structural problems and the wheels in front of the carriage have ‘sharp flanges’ - extremely worn edges which are the railway equivalent of a car having bald tyres. 
The 703HFA continues to haunt the shed, more a revenant than a phoenix. The gradual transformation of the Large Erecting Shop into a running shed means that it has an uncertain future. 
More paintings of the Eveleigh Railway Workshops are on the Eveleigh page of this blog. 

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