Jeffrey Smart, Vacant allotment, Woolloomooloo, 1947, oil on canvas, Gift of Chandler Coventry 1979, 52.3 cm x 63.4 cm
In this painting you can see children playing in an vacant plot of land with a deserted road next to it. Look at the buildings behind them, do you think this is in the city or the country?
Look at the building in the middle. Compare it to the buildings next to it and discuss what is different about it compared to the others?
Why do you think the artist painted this building so much bigger than the others?
The artist Jeffrey Smart painted many pictures of cities. Look at these other paintings of his and try to find the people. Why did he paint them so small? What do you think the artists was saying about life in many cities?
Smart was interested in showing the alienation of people living in an urban industrialised environment. The people are small to make them appear insignificant to what is around them. In the painting above the monumental windowless building towers over the children’s playground. The artist is showing us that their playground will soon disappear as large buildings like this one will soon start encroaching on their space.