Back Street off Stephenson Place

Holly NcNamee

Artist Statement: Ornate stylistic devices enriched street facades, sometimes belying the use within, as our early Newcastle architects transformed the basic utilitarian form of an early colonial settlement into a progressive city of the late 19th century. Although the function of many of the remaining structures has altered, or indeed are awaiting change, the cityscape of Newcastle is the richer for their survival. Holly NcNamee.

Medium: Mixed media on canvas
Dimensions: 38 x 57 cms
Date: 2010
Condition: New

CHG Director's Statement: Maitland artist, Holly McNamee, as her contribution to the National Trusts Heritage Festival, depicts back streets and lanes of some of the historic byways of Maitland and Newcastle, areas maybe not so familiar to the casual passer-by, but viewed by the artist as an integral aspect of a city.

The architectural heritage of a city is often revealed from the rear end of the main thoroughfare. The back view showing the utilitarian side of the building, whether a commercial occupation, or residential, often hidden behind a gracious faade presenting the public street face. Stevenson Place in Newcastle East, with its complex and impressive terraces, topped by ornate parapets, looking outwards to the harbour, hides a multiplicity of chimneys, roof lines and outbuildings serviced by back lanes. The western end of Maitlands High Street also has such examples, but this time with shops lining the main street, residences above, and the rear service lane providing a view of the domestic aspect.

Maitland, typical of a city evolving along a working road, still retains examples of now historic homes which occupied the main road in and out of the commercial heart of the town. Old Maitland Road and High Street are now by-passed by the highway, which keeps the endless flow of traffic from old narrow streets, but perhaps also hiding these architectural gems from the wider public view, something this artist is hoping to rectify.

 




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