This was a wild toad ride.
I was going along nicely, enjoying the markmaking in the middle of the night,
when I reached for a waterbrush and had not closed the top tight and a huge blob of water hit the area above. I grabbed my ink rag (full of red and blue ink unfortunately) and sopped it off, leaving a touch of red but removing the water. I, and then let it dry. In the end it recovered nicely, a testimony to Hahnemühle Toned Watercolour book!
Image for reference by Debi Taylor.
As I intend to try my hand a more images of this amazing building, one of my favorites,
so IF you are interested,
I am shamelessly stealing from Wikipedia, whom I support financially:
Jørn Oberg Utzon, [ˈjɶɐ̯ˀn ˈutsʌn]; 9 April 1918 – 29 November 2008) was a Danish architect. He was most notable for designing the, Hon. FAIA (Danish:
Sydney Opera House in Australia, completed in 1973. When it was declared a World Heritage Site on 28 June 2007, Utzon became only the second person to have received such recognition for one of his works during his lifetime, after Oscar Niemeyer.
In 1957, Utzon unexpectedly won the competition to design the Sydney Opera House. His submission was one of 233 designs from 32 countries, many of them from the most famous architects of the time. Although he had won six other architectural competitions previously, the Opera House was his first non-domestic project.
One of the judges, Eero Saarinen, described it as “genius” and
declared he could not endorse any other choice.
The designs Utzon submitted were little more than preliminary drawings.
Dr. Emory Kemp’s consulting career began at Ove Arup, where, he conducted analytical calculations for the roof, noting this was no simple task, as Utzon’s sketches were designed to embellish the beauty of the international landmark, not necessarily for simple mathematics. Concerned that delays would lead to lack of public support, the Cahill government of New South Wales nonetheless gave the go-ahead for work to begin in 1958. The British engineering consultancy Ove Arup and Partners put out tenders without adequate working drawings and construction work began on 2 March 1959. As a result, the podium columns were not strong enough to support the roof and had to be rebuilt. The situation was complicated by Cahill’s death in October 1959.
The extraordinary structure of the shells themselves represented a puzzle for the engineers. This was not resolved until 1961, when Utzon himself finally came up with the solution. He replaced the original elliptical shells with a design based on complex sections of a sphere. Utzon says his design was inspired by the simple act of peeling an orange: the 14 shells of the building, if combined, would form a perfect sphere. Although Utzon had spectacular, innovative plans for the interior of these halls, he was unable to realize this part of his design. In mid-1965, the New South Wales Liberal government of Robert Askin was elected. Askin had been a ‘vocal critic of the project prior to gaining office. His new Minister for Public Works, Davis Hughes, was even less sympathetic. Elizabeth Farrelly, Australian architecture critic has written that: “at an election night dinner party in Mosman, Hughes’s daughter Sue Burgoyne boasted that her father would soon sack Utzon. Hughes had no interest in art, architecture or aesthetics. A fraud, as well as a philistine, he had been exposed before Parliament and dumped as Country Party leader for 19 years of falsely claiming a university degree. The Opera House gave Hughes a second chance. For him, as for Utzon, it was all about control; about the triumph of homegrown mediocrity over foreign genius.”
Utzon soon found himself in conflict with the new Minister. Attempting to rein in the escalating cost of the project, Hughes began questioning Utzon’s capability, his designs, schedules and cost estimates, refusing to pay running costs. In 1966, after a final request from Utzon that plywood manufacturer Ralph Symonds should be one of the suppliers for the roof structure was refused, he resigned from the job, closed his Sydney office and vowed never to return to Australia. When Utzon left, the shells were almost complete, and costs amounted to only $22.9 million. Following major changes to the original plans for the interiors, costs finally rose to $103 million.
The Opera House was finally completed, and opened in 1973 by Elizabeth II, Queen of Australia. The architect was not invited to the ceremony, nor was his name even mentioned during any of the speeches. He was, however, to be recognized later when he was asked to design updates to the interior of the opera house. The Utzon Room, overlooking Sydney Harbour, was officially dedicated in October 2004. In a statement at the time Utzon wrote: “The fact that I’m mentioned in such a marvelous way, it gives me the greatest pleasure and satisfaction. I don’t think you can give me more joy as the architect. It supersedes any medal of any kind that I could get and have got.” Furthermore, Frank Gehry, one of the Pritzker Prize judges, commented:
“Utzon made a building well ahead of its time, far ahead of available technology, and he persevered through extraordinarily malicious publicity and negative criticism to build a building that changed the image of an entire country.”
“Memory is more indelible than ink.”
Anita Loos, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.
“I think not….”
Me… why I journal!
©D. Katie Powell.
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