Thursday, 15 September 2011

Remembering the Forgotten: Brown Bear Lane


In 1848 Joseph Fowles produced a booklet of copper-plate engravings showing the streets of Sydney. The engraving on P. 16 depicts a section of lower George Street showing 'E. Chambers' 'Brown Bear', which was a notorious pub in The Rocks. The pub bequeathed its name to a laneway. This laneway later became Little Essex Street and then was consumed totally during numerous rebuildings of the area.

In 2006 a photograph, in the possession of the Sydney Foreshore Authority, was 'muralized' by Dr Pierre Mol, an art history archaeologist. An article in the University of Sydney Alumni magazine gives the background to Mol's techniques.

Walking down George Street to The Quay, the mural is on the LHS immediately after (nearly under) the railway viaduct. It is incredibly realistic, giving the impression one could wander into it.

15 comments:

J Bar said...

Looks great. There are a few of these murals by the same artist, in that area.

Luis Gomez said...

This is really great Julie.

Kay L. Davies said...

Wonderfully realistic, Julie. Until I read it's a mural I wouldn't have guessed. I was thinking an old photo and a colour photo side by side.
I really like this, a lot. I can well imagine walking right into that mural.
— K

Kay, Alberta, Canada
An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

freefalling said...

Oh isn't that clever?
What's that shady character in the corner doing?

karen said...

I love this, and your photo of it is fabulous. What a fantastic way to bring the past back to life!

Ann said...

I either haven't noticed it or not realised what it was. There's some kind of historical projection thing happening in the Rocks as part of Art and About which starts next week or the week after I think.

diane b said...

That is a good idea. It sure looks real.

Kevin said...

When I first looked, I thought it was a lane, photographed in monochrome.

brattcat said...

Amazing, Julie!

Mark said...

I love The Rocks. Whenever I am in the big smoke (hardly ever these days) it is a great place to wander and think about the past and present. I wish I could ponder this mural more.
Great name, my favourite is the epicentre of trouble 100 years ago, the Suez Canal.

PerthDailyPhoto said...

That really is a fantastic piece of historical art, very realistic.

Joan Elizabeth said...

You fooled me ... I thought it was a photo, guess I wasn't looking at the fashion.

Rae Walter said...

Fantastic photo and capture of the past Julie. Love the realism by the artist.

Mary Ann said...

Oh my goodness! What I wouldn't give to see this in Beirut.

Julie said...

As Jim mntioned higher in the comments, there are a few more of these scattered among the streets of The Rocks. I have one more on file, but want to photograph it slightly different. They would be terrific in many cities I should think. When did photography start ... about 1824 or so ... especially with real people in them ...