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Rodney Black
Rodney Black

Northern Beaches Sydney, Australia

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Acrylic paint and molding paste , 3 coat gesso on hardboard, 3 coats gloss varnish, unframed


Yachting in Sydney has always been popular and especially after winning the America’s Cup in September 1983. A few months after the victory the city hosted its annual Sydney to Hobart yacht race with record crowds watching the boats depart the harbour. I was one of those people taking a camera with me to watch from Balmoral Beach. Years later I came across the scratched colour negatives and the hazy images of the racing yachts.

Time has allowed me to appreciate the feeling caught in these less than perfect images. In painting this artwork, I blended two scenes from the negatives focusing attention on the shore line with a ferry emerging from the sandstone.

The sandstone rocks represent the steadfastness of this ancient continent. They have been sculptured into the painting using modelling paste. The ferry, Lady Northcott, is emerging from the rocks. She represents the slow changing progress of transport shipping around the world. The racing yachts represent the faster pace of life. I have paid special attention to the ferry in the 1980s blue and white colours, with a banner advertising Trans Australia Airways (TAA) on the side. TAA was to cease operations and merge with Qantas in 1992.

The Sydney to Hobart race is a great symbol for time progressing because the winner usually arrives on New Year Day, signifying a new start. The race commenced on boxing day in 1945 and WW2 ended in September 1945. The same month Australia was to win the America’s Cup many years later.

Imagine the happy feeling on the harbour in 1945. The world was at peace once more when the yachts left Sydney harbour for the first race to Hobart. This project has given me a chance to reflect on the beauty of what wind and sail can do for us all.


Leaves artist's studio in 1-3 working days

#Lady Northcott, #Sydney to Hobart, #yachting, #sailing, #Sydney Harbour, #Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race, #1980s, #sails, #ferry, #nautical, #yacht racing, #spinnaker, #Balmoral, #Sydney Ferries, #TAA
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