Hyde Park Convict Barracks, Sydney – Mural Project

The Historic Houses Trust of New South Wales (NSW) commissioned me to create a mural depicting the journey of convicts from England to Australia for their new exhibition Convict Sydney.

The first large tableau illustrates a scene at the Tyburn Tree gallows just out of London circa 1760’s and the crowds that would attend such executions all the way through to prisoners fare-welling loved ones, 1800’s, to eventual arrival in Sydney Cove, 1830’s.

Here are the three main panels. These are the scans of the three original panels prior to digital blending and massaging.

The second mural depicts a typical convict work gang at morning muster within the grounds of the actual Barracks building. The Barracks building was designed by Francis Greenway, himself a convict transported to Australia.

Project time from brief to completion was three months. Actual painting time, ie oil paint to canvas, was just under four weeks. The compositions and drawings for this project were created digitally and based upon sketches, 3D layouts/models and photography of actors in authentic dress and costume.

Digital drawings were printed onto canvas, (in four panels, 3 panels for mural 1, one panel for mural 2), which were stretched and subsequently painted in oils.

Total length of mural 1 was 180″ x 42″  (4.5M x 1M). The final painted panels were then scanned and the final mural printed to 15M x 3.6M on canvas strips. These strips were then wallpapered to a false wall. Mural two was also painted in oils on canvas at 1.5M x 1M with a final print of approx 5M x 3.6M.

Here are some detailed images of the paintings.

And here are some other pictures of the painting, large format printing etc.

And here are two pictures of the murals up on the wall.

Many thanks to:

Tim Gurling-Butcher, Inara Walden and Kieran Larkin at the Historic Houses Trust Sydney for the opportunity to paint such a fantastic work and subject. Thanks also for taking the plunge and agreeing that this should be an oil painting project!

To Les Cook and family at CIE-ELLE digital imaging for scanning, printing and good humor!

Also to Stephen Gapps and his crew of re-enactors who supplied fantastic costumes, enormous patience and really got into the part!

In the meantime, I have more images of this project up on my Béhance site.


  1. Professor Deborah Oxley says:

    I think these are magnificent – a real contribution to the nation. Can’t wait to see them when next in Australia.

  2. wowtisa says:

    This is classic! Wayne you did it dude! these paintings of yours have make me hard to blink my eyes! you have done this by yourself? I guess it’s take a long time to paint such masterpieces. Keep up man!

  3. Tony says:

    Absolutely amazing job Wayne!! Elisa and the kids thought it was fantastic up close at the exhibition. Apparently everyone there was blown away by your painting. I wish I had been there. An epic job well done!

  4. Hey Wayne! Just wanted to drop in and say awesome job! I’ve been waiting to see these since you said you were working on ’em! Epic! The fact you got them done in three months is wild! Congrats on a job well done!

    – Fredrik/dCepT

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