1993 - 1994
Scott Whitaker started using the Newstead Gasometers as subject matter for his paintings, drawings and ceramics in 1993, shortly after establishing Doggett Street Studio with his partner Allyson Reynolds and moving into the attached residence and studio, which was located directly across the road from the gasworks.
At the time, the northern fringes of Brisbane's CBD was a vastly different place from present day. 1993 was the very beginning of Brisbane's Urban Renewal and Newstead was still largely a suburb of Industrial activity and commercial and warehouse businesses. The Newstead gasometers (still in use at the time) dominated the landscape and were the most recognisable symbols of this industrial environment.
Iconic in their form, the constant movement of the gasometer's telescopic innards, as they filled and emptied, would slowly conceal or expose the vista beyond. This kinetic performance was combined with the ever present ticking and groaning of the mechanism that controlled their movement, and magnified their presence in the silent evenings as the hubbub of the suburb's daily activity gave way to eerily silent evenings.
The gasometers were a natural visual and symbolic inspiration for Whitaker, who's art practice focuses heavily on the landscape and objects within and directly around him. Whitaker's gasometer works quite often juxtaposed the striking linear imagery of the gasometers along with domestic objects taken from his collection, providing a fitting metaphor for the evolving residential infiltration of this once industrial environment.