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Colour, cranes and mid-winter blue

This weekend, Jeffrey Smart died. The papers were full of his urban images. I love the strong colour in his work and that he addressed stark urban subjects, like containers. Colour was central to his work.

This is in my mind as the Port of Melbourne Corporation invites people’s views about crane colours as part of the Port expansion project.

There are a bewildering 18 colour options offered. The Port of Melbourne’s publications have always drawn on the very strong colours of gantry, container and ship. But it seems that at this stage the public’s preferred option is for disguise, camouflage and grey. Don’t know about you, but grey and camouflage communicate uncomfortably about navies and war. I much prefer to look the Port to look like the Port. The mid-winter sun on the Port this morning confirmed just how much I like that red.

Since we (in Port) are going to see quite a few of these gantries along the eastern side of Webb Dock, it is worth expressing an opinion on the crane colours since your opinion is being invited.
What do you prefer?

Note 20 October 2015

During the consultation period, a multiplicity of crane colour options were offered on the Port of Melbourne Corporation website. The page is no longer available.



  • philip widmer

    Grey and black are the ugliest colours (actually, absence of colour). What is with this obsession with grey and black? Have people never looked at plants, the sky, grass, trees, flowers, animals? Is everyone depressed? Grey and black in nature occurs after severe bushfires. Not many black flowers. Red, orange and yellow look fabulous in sunlight. (ps. Not many black and grey suns either.)

    • JanetBolitho

      Totally agree Philip. Good point you make about the only time you see black and grey in nature is after bushfires - absolutely not a happy association

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