The mural, commissioned by the Melbourne Metropolitan Fire Brigade, was started in 1980 and completed in 1982. The designer and director was Harold Freedman, while the work was carried out by master tiler Tony Barese, Joe Attard and David Jack. There is a narrative unfolding in this mural, beginning at the top and going down. It's an epic spanning centuries, so it takes up about four storeys.
The Legend of Fire is part romance, fantasy, horror, drama and, according to the huge mosaic, not much comedy. Characters include the wayward Phaeton, who rode his father's (Helios - the sun-god) chariot too close to Earth and started a tragic blaze, raising the ire of Zeus, the most powerful god of them all. A carefully placed bolt of lightning, and the reckless Phaeton was burnt to cinders and order restored to the earth and heavens.
|Phaeton and Zeus|
|Prometheus stealing fire form the gods and giving it to humans|
That's where Pandora came in. She created a fair bit of havoc after being sent by Zeus to Earth, succumbing to curiosity and opening that little box of miseries. Her relationship to fire rates a big mention in the glowing scenes. This bottom right panel continues the theme of fiery destruction, even showing an erupting volcano and the atom bomb (right).
The mural, made up of glass tiles each painstakingly and individually placed, has a religious tone, with Zeus sitting atop scenes of sufferers, heroes and villains. Mosaic is almost indestructible, so if the station burns down there will be a reminder!
This post is part of the Monday Murals meme.
What an amazing, fascinating mural and epic, Nick! Superb captures! Thanks so much for the history and the photos!ReplyDelete
Your ending sentence made me smile Nick, lets hope the station stands for many years to come. The mural is just beautifully put together, such a fabulous piece of artwork you don't usually find on a fire station.ReplyDelete
That is just amazing. Wonderful colors too.ReplyDelete
What a dramatic mural. Great pics!ReplyDelete
I'm impressed with this mural, Nick. Very dramatic!ReplyDelete
That's a wonderfully elaborate mural - with Blue AND Red! Woo Hoo!!ReplyDelete
Wow! The mural and the history of it are fascinating, and the work is superb! Thank you SO much for taking the time to explain all the parts - there is so much to see, I imagine one could look at it for a long time and still not see it all! Wonderful capture!ReplyDelete
Don't know what impresses me more:ReplyDelete
A Firebrigade that commissions a work of art of that magnitude, or the artwork itself.
And of course your brilliant reportage and illustrations of this.
This mural has plenty of detail. No wonder it took two years to complete.ReplyDelete
This is very special, can imagine it took two years to paint it.ReplyDelete
A really neat way to look at mythology. They should bring the school kids here for a visual lesson. I really like it!ReplyDelete
You are right - not much humour! But a wonderful reminder of an epic tale.ReplyDelete
Wonderful - and a great presentation of it Nick!ReplyDelete
Very cool! Great work.ReplyDelete
Thanks for sharing.
Absolutely beautiful. Very elaborate for a fire station. Thank you for all of the wonderful information as well.ReplyDelete
This is a tour de force. Incredible public art thanks to your fire brigade. I am in awe of the composition and the execution in mosaic tiles. Thanks for the guided viewing. Thanks also for participating in this week's Monday Mural.ReplyDelete
Nick, with each of your posts, I am amazed at your city , and those who administer it, and those artists who enhance the place. and all those citizens who live there.ReplyDelete
This legend is so interesting. Indians give a lot of importance to the Fire God. We salute the God in our daily prayers.
cette mosaique est magnifique, une superbe creation et impressionnanteReplyDelete
Publicity ;o) Every Friday (and the Weekend), The Challenge "Walk In The Street Photography"
It's marvellous. I have some old shots of this.ReplyDelete
Beautiful mosaic, driving by I never noticed its details. Nice photos.ReplyDelete