An oil painting showing the back of old buildings and shops in Katoomba's main street, taken as night was falling.

Jenny McIntosh, Back of Main Street - View from the Carrington Hotel Katoomba, Oil on Linen

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Jenny McIntosh

Back of Main Street - View from the Carrington Hotel Katoomba

45 x 60cm

Oil on Linen

Each year we return to our former home, Katoomba, on the weekend of the Winter Magic Festival.  The festival has been held on or as near as possible to the Winter Solstice for two decades and yep, it’s cold!  It is a time of market stalls, street parades, music, the Carrington Ball, art street and the thing I love the most - community.

We often stay at the Carrington Hotel and on this occasion our view was directly into the back of the shops in Main Street.  

In a brief moment while getting ready for a night on the town, I found myself fascinated by the scene before me.  Night was falling on a cold winters day and many were still making their way home from work.  I could see the constant stream of headlights on Parke Street and the highway, trains pulled in to the station and glimpses of people between the buildings suggested the main street was fairly busy.  

But when my gaze shifted to the back of the shops in front of me, they seemed empty and forgotten.  I thought about who might have lived and worked in these buildings over the many years, and it seemed a shame they are neglected now.

This painting came about in part because of the atmosphere, colour and interplay of shapes, light and shadow as well as from a deep feeling of nostalgia and love that I have for Katoomba.  But also, by way of reflecting on this part of Katoomba’s past and the contrast is makes with the Katoomba of today.