- Catalogue Number
- Title and Date
1989; reworked 1991
- Description of Featured Image
- A depiction of a segment of the underside of a curving bridge, which runs from upper left to centre right and spans a narrow stretch of water. At left are the remains of a derelict pier, and in the foreground, along the bottom of the composition, are twisted cables.
- Where Made
- Phillip Institute of Technology, Bundoora, Melbourne
- Medium Category and Technique
- Intaglio Print: Etching and drypoint on copper
- Wove paper. Identified papers: Fabriano paper with watermark: ‘CMF’ with star above, within a circle/oval; BFK Rives paper with watermark: ‘BFK RIVES / FRANCE’ with infinity symbol.
Image size: 112 x 158 mm
Matrix size: 119 x 160 mm
- Artist’s Record Number
- RAE.6 (1989, 1991)
- Printer(s) and Workshop(s)
- All impressions printed by Rick Amor in his Dunmoochin studio, Cottles Bridge.
- Summary Edition Information
- Six states. Nominal edition of ten, but only two impressions printed and numbered, 1991.
- Niagara Galleries & NETS Victoria 1993–94: Niagara Galleries & NETS Victoria, Melbourne, Rick Amor & the Graphic Arts, Victorian and Tasmanian tour, 1993–94, no. 36.
- Gary Catalano, Rick Amor & the Graphic Arts (exh. cat.), Niagara Galleries & NETS Victoria, Melbourne, 1993, cat. no. 36 (as 1989–91).
- For an illustration of the painting Broken pier, Westgate, 1986, see Linda Short (ed.), Rick Amor: A Single Mind (exh. cat.), Heide Museum of Modern Art, Bulleen, Victoria, 2008, p. 28.
- State Library of Victoria, Melbourne: four state impressions, numbered 1 through 4, all dated 1989; one state impression, numbered 5, dated 1991.
- National Gallery of Australia, Canberra: ed. 2/10, with plate tone, dated 1991 (2007.702).
This etching was inspired loosely by one of Amor’s paintings of the West Gate Bridge disaster, Broken pier, Westgate, 1986 (Short 2008). On 15 October 1970, two years into the construction of Melbourne’s West Gate Bridge, one of its spans collapsed, killing thirty-five workers.
The tangle of cables in the foreground of the etching is close to what is depicted in the oil painting; however, the bleakness of the painting has given way here to a largely imagined composition that is dense and filled with dark, coiled emotion. The condensed view of the subject, with its snaking curve, makes it ambiguous and difficult to read. Presenting the scene in this way was a deliberate strategy on the artist’s part and one that contributes to the sense of turmoil in the etching, despite its small scale. The six states of E.010 proceed incrementally from light to dark, with an ever-increasing sense of physical presence and threat.
- River, West Gate Bridge, Melbourne
Record last updated 01/09/2017