Port Kembla's iconic stack is long gone, but it will stand as a symbol of the region for future generations thanks to the latest acquisition of Wollongong Art Gallery.
The gallery recently unveiled Between The Escarpment And The Sea, a painting and assemblage work from celebrated Australian artist Colin Lanceley. The now-demolished stack dominates the image, as Illawarra beaches, cities, greenery and the escarpment roll out behind.
Mr Lanceley has had a 30-year association with the Illawarra, having moved to Coledale in the 1980s then owning homes in Scarborough, Wombarra and Gerringong.
"Even though Colin was a local, we didn't have anything by this quite significant artist from the region," said gallery director John Monteleone.
"This work from him adds all sorts of value to our collection; not just monetary but cultural and historical value."
Mr Lanceley, now living in Surry Hills, said the stack had been one of his favourite parts of the Illawarra before its demolition in February.
"I wanted to use it as a talisman for the district. It's such a potent symbol for the industrial parts of the Illawarra," he said.
Mr Monteleone said the work, currently on display as part of the Make It Sew assemblage works exhibition, would enter the gallery's permanent collection and be shown regularly.
"We felt it was serendipitous Colin chose the stack and that is no longer there because in a way, it's now there for future generations," he said.