Prometheus, Napier Waller, 1967.

I’d seen photos but never saw it for myself, even though I’d passed a million times – a huge #mosaic by #NapierWaller in the lobby of a building in William Street. Created in 1967 (and kept when the building totally renovated in 2007), this seems to be his last big work before he died in 1972. It was for the #StateElectricityCommission HQ Monash House, and depicts #Prometheus, who I now know was a major #GreekGod who took pity on us humans and gave us the gift of fire, ‘the mother of all arts’ (and sciences, everything really), so I guess this is him doing just that, in a very dynamic, flying, but still quite #NeoClassical way. And fire = energy from burning #browncoal = electricity, so it was suitable for the SEC.

The quote just off to the right is from the Shelley translation of the Ancient Greek #Aeschylus play, part 2 of 3, #PrometheusBound, which takes place while he’s chained to a rock for eternity as punishment for the fire giving. The full para is: “Let then the blazing levin-flash be hurled;

With white-winged snowstorm and with earth-born thunders

Let him disturb and trouble all that is;

Nought of these things shall force me to declare

Whose hand shall drive him from his sovereignty.” He’s talking about Zeus and I guess a levin is one of those thunderbolts that he liked to throw.

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