Thursday, February 05, 2009

Statue

Megan and friends have a Thursday Theme and I've decided to take part. . due mainly to a rather dull existence and writer's block. You can join in too! This week's theme - "Statue"

You know how there are little enclaves in every city and people who live around them so often take them forgranted? Well, recent travels with my Paduan saw us idling about town waiting for Clare to complete an interview in Surrey Hills before we ventured down to Bondi Beach. The boy and I had an hour or so to kill on a steaming hot day so walked down towards a little patch of green where a clear and sparkling fountain provided at least the illusion of cool. Hyde Park is the city's central open green space. Originally the Park was a racecourse and sporting ground playing host to all manners of competition.

Today the only reminder of its early 19th century competitive heritage is the huge playable chess set that features on the western side of the Park. It's one of those parks that people walk through but rarely linger. By night it's filled with junkies and drunks but during the day it's an avenue of shade and leafy greenness bustling with suits and lunch time joggers. The central pathway through the park is an impressive, tiled, fig lined road linking two of the parks other features, the War Memorial and the Archibald Fountain . .



The fountain itself is not remarkable, except when lit up at night, but one of the sculptures that adorns it really took my breath away. I've walked by that fountain thousands of times and never really observed the detail. It takes me back to reading the Children's Wonder Book and it's fabulous renditions of Greek Myths.

I was obsessed as a child with all things antiquity. I wanted to be an archeologist, I wanted to drown in the fantasy of fair Sirens and adventurous sea farers. I wanted to avoid the Gorgon's glare and be swept off my feet by Jason or at the very least one of the Argonauts. I was Helen of Troy or a vestel virgin presented quivering and afraid to the Mighty Minotaur ready to be devoured by this half bovine,half human monstrosity. . . but he wouldn't have devoured me, metaphorically or physically.

I'd have soothed his savage breast, I'd have calmed his nerves. I'd have caressed his brow, felt sympathy for his lonely plight. After all, he was a being not of his doing but the result of Poseidon's curse. The progeny of a human woman and the mystical white bull given to Minos as a sacrificial gift.

Just look at him! Clinging to the vestages of his grim life onto the edge of the rose marble. Just look at his face - sad, resigned, beaten, submissive, pathetic, lonely, misunderstood. I'm such a sucker for lost souls. Yes . . . in my twisted imagination . . I would have been beauty to his beast.

I'm also a romantic twit! And it's such a gorgeous statue.

Please make it bigger so that you can see his face

21 comments:

Megan said...

I'll be back to read in full...I am trolling for Theme Thursday posts right now...but oh, lovely!

Ces said...

Absolutely gorgeous and I want to come back and comment more after I get some sleep BUT, mind you, the minotaur slayer is not very well endowed. He has a tiny thang, I checked.

Thriftcriminal said...

I get the overwhelming feeling of "Hey man, I was just having a snooze and you walk in here and stab me! Uncool! Seriously uncool!"

nick said...

I've never walked through Hyde Park either, just swept past it on the bus. I obviously missed some spectacular sights.

subtorp77 said...

Oh, what a glorious fountain! And at night....I wish my snaps from Toulon France were better. I'd've used those. It's amazing what one can observe, when one allocates the time.

Grannymar said...

I love fountains.

When I lived in Germany my walk to and from work took me through a park with a fountain. That walk always refreshed me and the quiet of the park was only ever matched by the silence of snow.

Terence McDanger said...

The time I was in Barcelona, I didn't get to see the big fountain, they only turn it on every few days and I kept getting mixed up.

I'd nearly go back just to see it.

VE said...

Cool. That first statue shot? Just like my sprinkler system...

mouse (aka kimy) said...

good read and the photos are terrific! what a face - thanks for reminding to enlarge!!

thanks for playing along....

Cinnamon said...

Yes it is an awesome statue- i did enlarge it. I never really took much notice of statues before this Thursday Theme thing...but you have inspired me!

Thriftcriminal said...

the snow is pissing down outside. I had the horrible experience of feeling the car slide backwards a couple of inches while stopped in traffic on a hill on the way home, took 1.5 hours to get there. Kids are having a ball.

tut-tut said...

Wow, great photos and commentary, too. It's great to "get out" and see what others have to say and show!

Susan said...

Amazing the things we don't know about each other's innermost ideas and feelings! I used to always daydream about the underdogs in ancient myths, wanting to redeem or rescue them or just fix everything so the story could be happier.

You're right, the sculptor did an amazing job in portraying M. Imagine what such a life would be like, trapped in that place, in such a role, in such a body. There's a poem in there somewhere, a wonderful new story waiting.

I'm just saying.

Baino said...

Megan, thanks for the opportunity, it's a great idea!

Oh trust you Ces! I once heard that the flaccid penis is no indication of it's erect state! hehe

Thrifty, you're not taking this seriously ...I write about pathos, you mock me!

It's not a big park Nick but very cool in the heat of summer and quite a pretty centrelpiece to the city.

Thanks subtorp77 ..made a few new friends through this little exercise as well.

They're great aren't they. Sadly the modern ones are more drippy arches than proper spraying fountains.

Yeh apparently Terrence, they only turn it on Fridays and Saturdays . . .so now you know. It's pretty fab tho.

VE, clearly you're not living in a drought ridden city! Many of ours are turned off to conserve water. I could do with your sprinklers on my brown 'once was lawn, now is dust'

No worries Kimy, I'm loving it! New friends a plenty too!

Cinnamon, it's one of four in each corner of the font but definitely the most pathetic. I just loved it. That's the benefit of being a tourist in your own town now and again.

Thrifty, I'll be thinking of you this weekend and your freezin' fingins' whilst we work out how to keep cool in 44 degrees.

Tut Tut, certainly is and I'll be visiting the others over the weekend. For now, work beckons!

Suze, I'm hopeless. I'm terribly romantic, a complete daydreamer, talk to myself, invent scenarios. . .I'm a shocker, really.

Kris said...

It isn't a real statue unless it is urinating.

Baino said...

OK then . . .just for you and it ain't no "L'enfant Pis"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7W-eg_4bV2c

Ces said...

Good morning, I was going to tell you that I am avid reader of mythology. In fact when I feel like I have read everything in our library, I read mythology again and again. Oh sometimes, I break the mythology marathon by reading the dictionaries. My favorite Greek goddess is Artemis and my favorite god is Hermes. I pay homage to Hestia once a month by dusting my house. I remember seeing the minotaur early in childhood. It was in a sardine can label and ever since I was always intrigued.

A.Decker said...

Yeah, passionless, resigned--a good word for it--like he's ready for the killing stroke, tired of being a monster. Good one.

Bimbimbie said...

Tsup*!* With you on the mythology fantasy of childhood ... thankfully it still lingers. That's a magnificent looking Fountain
and there's nothing wrong with being a romantic twit, there's a world shortage*!*

Megan said...

Had to come back and read again more slowly.

This is a great post, Baino. Well, all your posts are great, but I think you might have had a Muse over your shoulder on this one!

Baino said...

Hello again Ces. Yep, I've long harboured a love of Greek Mythology but I don't often read the dictionary (unless it's to look up big words on your posts!)

Thanks AD, it is a pathetic look isn't it. Poor thing.

Thanks Bimbimbie, I make up for many. I'm a legend in my own lunchtime!

Thanks Megs. I'm loving this Thursday thingy. I've been visiting the others too. Very good takes on the word. Can't wait for next week now!