Vanishing

Sydney's early timber slab dwellings by Daphne Kingston

Artist Daphne Kingston has spent much of her adult life recording the early colonial buildings of the Sydney basin. A graduate of the Julian Ashton Art School, Daphne began to sketch Sydney's earliest slab huts and barns in the mid 1970s. These rude timber dwellings were built by early settlers using roughly sawn timber from locally felled trees. Remarkably, quite a number of them survived the elements for more than 150 years before their demise. This exhibition, Vanishing, showcases the drawings and paintings that Daphne used to illustrate her published books on Sydney's early vernacular architecture. A rare and unique record of Sydney's earliest buildings, these original artworks are offered for sale for the first time.

Daphne's interest in photography, combined with her love of these buildings, compelled her to photograph them regularly over a period of more than 40 years. Her photographs document her continued interest in the rural landscape of the Sydney basin, particularly the 19th-century slab barns and houses, which appear so frail and transient. Her earliest photographs were taken when such buildings were thought to have little value. By revisiting them over the years, Daphne has compiled a remarkable record of the life cycle of each building - a life cycle that often ended abruptly as hillsides and paddocks were replaced by the avalanche of housing development and frenzy of roadworks. A feature of the exhibition is a slide show of Daphne's photographs in time-lapse sequence, showing a number of Sydney's early slab buildings as they slowly vanish from view.

31 March 2011 - 12 May 2011

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