Quarantine Station, Bruny Island

Day 8 of the Inktober Challenge

One of the goals that I set at the start of the Inktober Challenge was to draw more buildings and do more urban sketching.  I’m not doing great with this goal, but I did make the effort to tackle drawing the Health Officer’s Quarters, built around 1885 on Bruny Island.  This building is one of many that once serviced the state’s quarantine program.

cleansing room
Cleansing Room in the foreground with the Health Officer’s Quarters in the background

The site is situated at Barnes Bay, on an isolated peninsula of Bruny Island.  The historic maritime quarantine station operated from 1884 – 1919.  It also processed 9000 World War I soldiers upon their return to Tasmania.  The ‘Cleansing Room’, enclosed by a nine foot fence, was the only entry point to the site.  It’s sad to think that after surviving the horrors of war, soldiers were then stripped and bathed in a dangerous concoction of chemicals (nasty ones, truly banned from direct contact today) detained for a week and then released to go home to their loved ones if they received the all-clear with a final health check .

The bath soldiers were ‘cleansed’ in
sea urchin display
Sea urchins displayed in the Cleansing Room.  Nature’s art exhibition.

Later, the site was used for Plant Quarantine and techniques from 1955 – 1986.  Because it was the only station in the country on an island, it was used as the national location where introduced plants were tested for diseases.

I struggled with this building, as I do with all my attempts when I try to draw buildings.  Angles and perspectives challenge me, to say the least, but maybe that is what keeps attracting me to this genre of art.

Quaratine Station Bruny Issml
Ink pen drawing of the Health Officer’s Quarters, Quarantine Station, Bruny Island

I forgot to use two strategies that I think could have provided some assistance.  Firstly, focusing on the negative shape of the sky, and secondly, establishing the volume of the building – drawing in the lined cube shape (the skeleton of the house sort of speak).  I think this could have helped with accuracy.  Focusing on the positives now, some angles aren’t too far off and some depth is captured.  I’m not giving up yet!

Thanks for stopping by.  🙂



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