Mysteries of the Pacific

rainbow painting

In a quiet corner of the Australian Museum, far from the gaping crowds clustering about the infamous idol, I encountered a queer, unsettling image. Part of the same exhibition of Pacific mysteries, it was a crudely rendered oil painting of a ship in full sail, with a glorious rainbow dominating the sky above. It was labelled ‘The Ascent’ and originated in New Zealand in the last years of the old century.

The painting disturbed me greatly, with a sickening feeling in the pit of my stomach. it took me some time to realise exactly the reason why …

The Turn of Midnight Waters

DAZ Studio and Photoshop. Click image for larger version.

The Blue Angel, Guardian of Sydney

new angelSome of you will know Erica Vandeerzee’s famous statue of the Blue Angel in Federation Park, Kings Cross. The sculpture is dedicated to the 15 unidentified victims of serial killer Joseph ‘Cutter’ Ekin, the Darlinghurst Reaper, the Bastard from the Bush, who terrorised inner Sydney over three bloody months in 1909.

The Blue Angel bears the haunting inscription, ‘We shall ascend together’. It was carved by Vandeerzee in 1919 of unique Kimberley marble mined from an offshore reef.

Scorned by the churches, the Blue Angel has nonetheless become a guardian symbol of Sydney, patroness of the battler, the downtrodden, and the happy-go-lucky. Sometimes she is called Pacificus, the Guardian of the Harbour.

The Turn of Midnight Waters, Briefing 4: The Blue Angel

Pacific Civilisation: A Hidden History?

symposium4_web

In April 1925, the disabled steam yacht Alert was towed into Sydney Harbour. The sole surviving crewman, Gustaf Johansen, told a fantastic tale of cultic piracy, a risen island, and a monstrous sea beast. A hideous winged idol discovered aboard the ship was delivered to the Australian Museum. A scholarly symposium was called to discuss its mysterious provenance and identity. The advertisement for the symposium was carried in various scientific journals and was much discussed in occult periodicals and other, even less public, circles. And the ships came.

Daz Studio and Photoshop. Click for full size version. Also available as a PDF (6 Meg).

Razorhurst

close shave

Razorhurst

Razorhurst

Razorhurst, Gunhurst, Bottlehurst, Dopehurst – it used to be Darlinghurst, one of the finest quarters of a rich and beautiful city; to-day it is a plague-spot, where the sporn of the gutter grow and fatten on official apathy. By day it shelters in its alleys, in its dens, the Underworld people. At night, it looses them to prey on property, decency & virtue, & to fight one another for division of spoils. Truth, 23 September 1928.

Razorhurst, Sydney, 1926. That wild and haunted city. The Turn of Midnight Waters. Rendered in DAZ Studio and Photoshop. Click for full size image.

The Turn of Midnight Waters

Cthulhu idol

The idol in the Australian Museum

 

 

The crouching image with its cuttlefish head, dragon body, scaly wings, and hieroglyphed pedestal was preserved in the Museum at Hyde Park; and I studied it long and well, finding it a thing of balefully exquisite workmanship …. I thought … about the primal Great Ones: ‘They had come from the stars, and had brought Their images with Them.’
H.P. Lovecraft, ‘The Call of Cthulhu’.

Sydney, 1926, that wild and haunted city. There are gangsters on the streets of the Big Smoke. There is a mysterious idol in the Australian Museum. There is something nasty in the Harbour. And stone the crows, it’s coming ashore.

Check our our briefing page for The Turn of Midnight Waters, a two session Lovecraftian horror module to be run at Phenomenon, 10-13 June 2015.

(Idol model rendered in DAZ Studio and Photoshop).

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