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The Sydney Harbour Bridge

This week's writing prompt - Sydney's iconic bridge.

Grace Cossington Smith – The Gender Gap

​by Deirdre Keenaghan



Each time I pass under that bridge, usually on the ferry from Pyrmont to Circular Quay, it catches my gaze. Sturdy, steely and with a huge span. It must be one of the most photographed, iconic landmarks in Sydney.

For Grace Cossington Smith it was maybe symbolic of her artist struggles. Her thoughts are probably just as relevant today as when she painted it in 1930. When I turn over the pages of the art book which features The Bridge in-curve, I see her drawings and notes. They appear very masculine and architectural. On closer inspection, I see they are painter’s notes and tonal notes: ‘bright rear tones to further tones’.

The gap for me is the interesting bit. Female artists at this time were typically left with domestic scenes and interiors as subjects. She was trying to make her way in a male-dominated art world with limited access to outdoor scenes. Even today that bridgely gap still exists for women, the difference is that now we are talking about it.


A Bridge Too Far

by Cat Davey


In the vexed Sydney house hunt, the bridge is the limit. No matter how alluring the townhouse on 300sqm with a pool and harbourviews in Kirribilli, I just can’t live on the wrong side of the bridge. Some call it the Queensland of Sydney, where conservative people live and build hedges and have dinner parties and discuss private schools. At New Year’s Eve we may deign to visit a friend on the wrong side of the bridge, but only to catch the fireworks. Otherwise we’re too busy not having children to even make friends with people from the wrong side of the bridge. And when there’s a pile-up or a wallaby loose and the bridge is at a standstill, we’re all very happy we don’t live on the wrong side of the bridge.

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