Swanson Dock 1998

SMYTH, Dacre

Registration number

1733492

Artist/maker

SMYTH, Dacre

Title

Swanson Dock

Production date

1998

Medium

oil on canvasboard

Dimensions (H x W x D)

53.5 x 64 cm

Inscriptions

signed ll: DACRE SMYTH

Credit line

Purchased, 2018
City of Melbourne Art and Heritage Collection

Keywords

Dacre Smyth, Swanson Dock, container terminal, Yarra river, container ships, 1998

Summary

Artist statement

Since the 1960s the whole pattern of cargo-carrying in ships throughout the world has been revolutionised, with huge pre-packed containers of cargo, many of them refrigerated, being stacked like building blocks onto especially-built container ships, thus replacing the old cargo-ships into whose holds the cargo was loaded and stacked by the wharf-labourers of those days.

Today, the 'wharfies' operate sophisticated cranes and carriers especially designed to deal with the containers, and docks such as Swanson Dock, off Footscray Road in Footscray, have been built to replace the old alongside-berths such as South Wharf in the Yarra, from whose quiet and sleepy No.31 berth I painted this picture, just after the industrial turmoil on the wharves of May 1998.

West Swanson Dock, operated by P&O, has three container-ship berths, all of which are visible and occupied in this painting, while East Swanson Dock, operated by Patricks, has four berths, only No.1 being visible here.

Dacre Smyth