Kingston has long held a fascination for Sydney's maritime tradition, with its fleet of ferries gliding across the harbour, its wooden wharves and weathered docks. Having lived most of his life on the city's foreshore, Kingston captures in charcoal, oil and ink its transformation from a largely industrial working harbour to a playground for the rich and powerful.
When developers prepared to demolish Pier 6/7 at Walsh Bay in 1998, Kingston’s outrage was manifest in a series of drawings, prints and paintings shown in the exhibition 'Hurry, last days' in 1999. Aiming to capture the poignant beauty of these dilapidated structures before their demise, Kingston's drawings are precisely observed, expressed with an energy and passion which convey his commitment to the preservation of Sydney's architectural heritage.
"The finger wharves came from a period when people worshipped work. They were built of turpentine. You couldn't build them today; the forests have all gone. They stand for the uniqueness of this city, Sydney as a working port instead of this One.Tel generation of townhouses. They represented a simpler form of life." Peter Kingston, 2001
charcoal on two sheets of white wove paper
56.0 x 130.0 cm image/sheet overall; 75.8 x 169.8 x 4.5 cm frame
Signature & date
Signed and dated l.r. corner left sheet, charcoal "Peter Kingston '99".
Signed and dated l.r. corner right sheet, charcoal "May 1988 Peter Kingston".
Thea Proctor Memorial Fund 1999
Not on display
© Peter Kingston
Shown in 4 exhibitions
Hurry, last days, Australian Galleries Works on Paper, Sydney, Paddington, 12 May 1999–05 Jun 1999
Peter Kingston (2001), Museum of Sydney, Sydney, 23 Jun 2001–23 Nov 2001
Peter Kingston: a survey:
Australian Collection Focus: Notes from the River Caves: Peter Kingston & Martin Sharp, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 20 Sep 2006–19 Nov 2006
Referenced in 2 publications
Australian Galleries Works on Paper, Sydney (Compilator), Hurry, Last Days, Sydney, 1999. cat.no. 19; Note that this is a text reference only, no pagination provided.
Natalie Wilson., Notes from the river caves: Peter Kingston and Martin Sharp, 'Notes from the River Caves: Peter Kingston and Martin Sharp', Sydney, 2006, (colour illus.). Website catalogue for the 'Notes from the River Caves: Peter Kingston and Martin Sharp' exhibition held at the AGNSW in 2006.