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Editions

North Wharf inspires art

30 Apr 2013

North Wharf inspires art Image

For artist Maggie Cowling there’s a sense of romanticism about North Wharf.

“Walking down the wharf, being by the water, the noises of the seagulls, the noises of the craftsmen, the dragonboat races at the weekends, I really cherish it,” Maggie said.

She usually spends about one day a week at North Wharf painting and sketching historic sailing ship the Alma Doepel, which is being restored by a team of volunteers at Shed 2.

Maggie discovered Alma, as she’s affectionately known, on her first visit to Docklands a few years ago.

“I really knew nothing about Docklands and I felt it was my duty to explore and find out what this new development was all about. I headed down North Wharf kind of by accident and saw her and I just thought her lines were terrific, so harmonious,” Maggie said.

“There’s nothing like Alma. She’s unique and very beautiful and I thought wow I’ve got to come back with my paints,” she said.

Before long Maggie was such a regular face around North Wharf that Alma Doepel restoration director Peter Harris asked her to be the honorary artist-in-residence.

She continued to paint and sketch the Alma and her restoration and last year held an exhibition of her work at the Ocean Education Centre at Shed 2, donating 30 per cent of the profits to the restoration fund.

Maggie held another exhibition at Shed 2 last month, donating 100 per cent of her profits to the restoration.

This time her work had a greater focus on the work of the volunteers who are restoring the Alma Doepel.

“There are people who are putting in extraordinary hours with wonderful skills and effort, it’s a real little community down here,” Maggie said.

The exhibition also featured recent sketches and painting of Alma on her barge.

“Now she’s up on her barge she’s just so epic,” Maggie said.

Maggie hopes the next exhibition at Shed 2 will be a group exhibition featuring the work of various artists who at different points in time have painted the Alma Doepel.

Over Alma’s 110 year history a range of artists have painted the ship and Maggie said she was currently working on getting in touch with artists.

Artists who are interested in being involved in the exhibition are encouraged to contact Maggie via (JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or 0438 298 741.  

Maggie will continue to document Alma’s restoration and said she was glad the Alma would remain in Docklands after work on her was completed.

“I know this area will eventually be developed, but the Alma will be here to represent the history of this place and its atmosphere,” she said.

“I hope the Alma will be a vestige of that romance.”

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