This painting, which includes the beautifully crafted wind vane above the historic Mission to Seafarers’ building in Flinders Street, Melbourne, symbolises the safe port for the crew of ships, over the years, that have entered Port Phillip Bay, since the Victorian Mission was established in 1857. The stormy ocean weather for the sailors is contrasted with the calm seas near the Mission.
I have been involved in a number of art exhibitions at this Victorian heritage listed building and have always been impressed by the interesting architecture, beautiful chapel which has a pulpit the shape of a ship’s poop deck, a domed shaped adjoining building which was originally a gymnasium with ropes hanging from the ceiling, and the galleon wind vane. I wanted to find some way to tie the wind vane into a stormy sea scene and the painting is the result.
This is the link to the historic Mission to Seafarer’s Melbourne website
Update May 2022 – Sadly, in March 2022, thieves gained access to the roof of the Mission’s building and used a hacksaw to cut through the support rod and remove the 30kgm wind vane which has been on this building since 1917. If anyone has any information on this theft which could help in the recovery of the beautifully crafted wind vane could they contact me or the Mission to Seafarers.