Monday, 22 June 2009

Performing Arts - Treading the boards (1)

Walsh Bay, and the timber wharves extending out from Hickson Street, is rapidly becoming Sydney's performing arts "engine-room". The wharves house The Sydney Theatre Company, The Sydney Dance Company, The Philharmonia Choirs and The Song Company. It is the site for The Sydney Writers' Festival each May.

Much of the Walsh Bay wharf area was demolished and rebuilt after the devastating 1913 bubonic plague which the government of the time used as an excuse to reclaim large swathes of land along that short wharf section of the harbour, and back up the slope to The Rocks. This was prior to the construction of the approaches to the harbour bridge and the massive works required for the southern pylon of the bridge. Due to shortages of materials after World War 1 timber was used instead of the planned concrete. The wharves were two-storey with steel bridges - originally planned for 1921 but put on hold until the 1930s - giving upper and lower access.

Hickson Street - named after Robert Hickson, an Irishman who was the first president of the Sydney Harbour Trust - was carved from the steep slope that ran down to Walsh Bay. Henry Walsh - after whom the wharf area was named and who migrated to Australia from Ireland in 1877 - was the Chief Publc Works Engineer between 1901 and 1919 instigating improvements to the ports of Sydney and Newcastle.


Martina said...

The wooden planks (?) are great -- I can almost feel the splinters and touch the surface ... in my imagnination, ;-)

brattcat said...

And hear the sound they make when trod upon and feel the vibration.

bitingmidge said...

I've just spent a lovely half hour or so tracking back the last month or so Julie.

I think I can see lots of evidence of new understandings of DOF and other things.... or am I just kidding myself?

There's some ripper stuff here.

Sunshine Coast Daily Photo - Australia

Julie said...

Martina: yep, plank is the right word.

Kitty: You head thinks like mine (never sure if that is mind or brain!)

Peter: I like to think that I am making progress. I am certainly understanding it more. A lot of time and effort (and pleasure) has gone into it. Thanks for the kind words.

AB said...

Wow, those planks look aged and uneven! Sydney's performing artists are in danger of tripping up.

The second has a nice sweeping composition.

That is the chicken said...

The texture on those planks is amazing. I love photos that make you want to reach out and touch them...and this is one of those photos.

Fiona said...

I think they are my favourite thing about the Writers' Festival. If the weather's good, I don't mind sitting outside and listening to the lecture - the surroundings are just perfect. Love the first picture, so visceral.

Joan Elizabeth said...

The planks look like my front verandah.

Coşkun said...

Hi julie,
Thanks for sharing nice macro photos. İnformation about harbour are very interesting. Best wishes.