Located between Kembla and Church St on the boundary of the Wollongong Public School on Market St.
San Francisco, USA
“One of the most spectacular of the more than 350 public stairs of SF that connect streets to each other. This is a form of vernacular architecture that harks back to the instant city that is SF. From a sleepy outpost with inclement weather and inhospitable topography, Yerba Buena became the hot-spot city of San Francisco thanks to gold and silver mines nearby and people found ways to make this harsh place navigable!
Sailors, miners, businessmen, prostitutes, thieves, bankers, cowboys, and the government, all made it home in the mid-19th century. SF as a destination was an incentive for transport companies to make ships that could sail faster from the East coast, pre-Panama Canal. And for railway development beyond the “frontier” of Chicago. Ornate Victorian style homes – the marker of social status at the time – and Italianate mansions showed up everywhere to reflect the rich times. The government commissioned grand buildings to match the grand amounts of money flowing through. An Italian immigrant with a bit of money who had been rejected for bank loans and kept his money sewed into a mattress across the Bay decided to lend money to poor immigrants and became Bank of America.
Everything including buildings here has a story – my office building used to be a brothel!!! Now it is a mixed-use building next to a public stair that is owned neither by the city nor by a private entity. Near the house of the Brown Twins (octogenarian mid-Western-now-local twin sisters who were voted as “Second Best Local Character”)!
There was a group of citizens in San Francisco who were the moral police during the Gold Rush. They had the authority (and the gall) to hang people they considered hindrances to the city. Unconventional is San Francisco…”
There is a brand new suburb being developed in the Northern suburbs of Darwin and I noticed a picture of this turtle when an article about Lyons came up in the local newspaper last week. So this morning I trotted out there to have a look. The turtle stands 1.5 m high and is 4 m long and it is a common motif in the artwork and dreamings of the Larrakia people who are a coastal people.
I would have gotten closer but there were big signs not to go on the grass as they are still trying to get it to grow.
The Larrakia people are the indigenous people of Darwin and this artwork was done in collaboration between wellknown Darwin artist Techy Masero and Larrakia artists James Gaston, Peter Browne, Diane (Deede) Quall, Denise Quall, Dotty Fejo and Jocelyn Archer.
The sandstone sculptures of animals also are indicative of Larrakia motifs and the mosaic paving represents waterholes. The animals are made of porcellanite and the upright carving is sandstone.
If you head over to Racine, Wisconsin this summer, you will notice a number of lighthouses popping up around the streets. These are part of a public art event featuring 5 foot replicas of the Wind Point Lighthouse. Each artist involved in the project has created their own work of art from the original white replica. The lights even work!
Here are two mosaicked lighthouses. One is a definite pique assiette style while the other makes use of vitreous glass tile and gems. Check out the original photos on flickr – these are best viewed large to see the fantastic detail. While you are there, make sure you have a look at the rest of the Lighten Up photoset. There are some great lighthouses there with themes ranging from King Kong and Stars Wars to the works of Frank Lloyd Wright.
The rocky ledge runs far into the sea,
and on its outer point, some miles away,
the lighthouse lifts its massive masonry,
A pillar of fire by night, of cloud by day.
Even at the distance I can see the tides,
Up heaving, break unheard along its base,
A speechless wrath, that rises and subsides
in the white tip and tremor of the face.
And as the evening darkens, lo! how bright,
through the deep purple of the twilight air,
Beams forth the sudden radiance of its light,
with strange, unearthly splendor in the glare!
No one alone; from each projecting cape
And perilous reef along the ocean’s verge,
Starts into life a dim, gigantic shape,
Holding its lantern o’er the restless surge.
Like the great giant Christopher it stands
Upon the brink of the tempestuous wave,
Wading far out among the rocks and sands,
The night o’er taken mariner to save.
And the great ships sail outward and return
Bending and bowing o’er the billowy swells,
And ever joyful, as they see it burn
They wave their silent welcome and farewells.
They come forth from the darkness, and their
Gleam for a moment only in the blaze,
And eager faces, as the light unveils
Gaze at the tower, and vanish while they gaze.
The mariner remembers when a child,
on his first voyage, he saw it fade and sink
And when returning from adventures wild,
He saw it rise again o’er ocean’s brink.
Steadfast, serene, immovable, the same,
Year after year, through all the silent night
Burns on forevermore that quenchless flame,
Shines on that inextinguishable light!
It sees the ocean to its bosom clasp
The rocks and sea-sand with the kiss of peace;
It sees the wild winds lift it in their grasp,
And hold it up, and shake it like a fleece.
The startled waves leap over it; the storm
Smites it with all the scourges of the rain,
And steadily against its solid form
press the great shoulders of the hurricane.
The sea-bird wheeling round it, with the din
of wings and winds and solitary cries,
Blinded and maddened by the light within,
Dashes himself against the glare, and dies.
A new Prometheus, chained upon the rock,
Still grasping in his hand the fire of love,
it does not hear the cry, nor heed the shock,
but hails the mariner with words of love.
“Sail on!” it says: “sail on, ye stately ships!”
And with your floating bridge the ocean span;
Be mine to guard this light from all eclipse.
Be yours to bring man neared unto man.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
If you go down to the Deckchair cinema in Darwin, there is a walkway up to the top of the Esplanade. At the bottom end there are some great mosaics commemorating Northern Territory women.
I love the 3-D effect of the leaves and when wet, the mosaics look particularly spectacular.
The women featured in this mosaic are:
Janie Mason, who was involved in the NT Nursing and Union movements;
Helena Rioli, for services to the Aboriginal community especially regarding Stolen Generation issues;
Margery Harris, for her contribution to Central Australian sport and the community;
Nancy Giese, for her contribution to education and the arts;
Sylvia Wolf, for her contribution to Tourism paticularly in the Katherine region.
The mosaic was created by Techy Masero in 2006. Techy is a Chilean-born artist who came to Darwin in 1985 and is well known for her use of natural materials in sculpture.