Image copyright: © Australian War Memorial
Creative Commons License This image is licensed under CC BY-NC

ID number ART30253
Title Sydney graving dock
Collection Art
Object type Painting
Maker McClintock, Herbert (Artist)
Place made Australia: New South Wales, Sydney
Date made 1943
Medium gouache, pen and ink, pencil on cardboard
Measurement Overall: 59.8 cm x 87.6 cm; framed: 75.8 cm x 103.6 cm x 3.8 cm


In this work the focus is placed on the immensity of the structure being built. The scale of the enterprise is emphasised by the towering walls, gantry cranes and a section of pipe being hoisted high above the workers. Herbert McClintock places the viewer in the centre of the building site, with the detail of the far end of the dock lost in the distance, implying that this massive place extends beyond the picture surface. Although there are hundreds of people at work, except for the foreground figures, they are suggested rather than explicitly depicted. McClintock's brand of social realism is one that celebrates the heroism of labour, and the vital harmony needed between workers to successfully complete their sometimes daunting tasks.