Project Progress


Here’s where I write about the making of the map.  I have sore thumbs from pushing drawing pins into my studio walls to keep all those big bits of paper in place and burst 3 bicycle tyres on my travels –  but I have learnt tons about our city and met some wonderful people.

Check out some-one else’s blogpost about the project with more pictures at HoneysuckleAlive

This project required many months of research, out drawing , visiting industries, meeting people, running workshops and making notes from books and museums. After that I spent the winter in the studio drawing together all those pieces of information into one huge composition – the same size as the printed map (3m 60cm x 2m 40cm). I used a couple of modern maritime map that included information about navigational aids and signals as well as positioning the suburbs in relation to the water. I referred back to historical maps from the University of Newcastle’s Cultural Collection  and those kept at The Regional Library. These plus Google Street Map enabled me to get the shape right and the roads in more or less the correct places . After that accuracies of scale had to go a little out the window so we could give enough space to the really interesting and busy bits.

Its a map to get you started and it won’t get you lost.

Some of our project sponsors treated me to some very exciting tours – such as Port Waratah Coal Services loading facilities. Other highlights were taking a kayak tour of the harbour (to really get a fish-eye level view), being shown around Orica, the Cornish Dock, the newly refurbished Mission to Seafarers on Hannell Street, Wickham and up on the deck of a grain ship bound for Belgium.

Even making mistakes lead to exploration. When I realised I had put the back lead tower in the wrong place I went back to find it behind The Tower Cinema and also discovered a delightful quiet row of houses at the same time. (Thanks Tim for the tip)

Map section

Map section

Here I am putting up the final drawings onto my studio wall.

After that I had them scanned and imported the HUGE files into Photoshop and spent 3 weeks colouring them in.


2 thoughts on “Project Progress

  1. heatherwharam

    This is so amazing. It has made me want to visit the area and get my pens out and start drawing. All the drawings are so brilliant and they will all look so great together. Brilliant project. More councils should fund such stuff.

  2. Bea Tanner Burgoine

    Maybe Lake Macquarie Council could do it!
    Get some of our fig trees in case they get the chop! Illustrate Toronto with all its glory …. Lovely little lakeside town!


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