Columns
10 years on Image

10 years on

Top yachts to compete at Docklands
Read more >>

Away from the desk Image

Away from the desk

The little bent tree
Read more >>

Chamber update Image

Chamber update

Strategic goals for 2020
Read more >>

Docklander Image

Docklander

Dental saving kids in Timor Leste
Read more >>

Docklands Secrets Image

Docklands Secrets

Conflicting speeds
Read more >>

Fashion Image

Fashion

Top five street style trends
Read more >>

Health and Wellbeing Image

Health and Wellbeing

Setting SMART goals for 2020
Read more >>

Business Image

Business

Best noodles close to work
Read more >>

Owners Corporation Law Image

Owners Corporation Law

Embedded electricity networks are ripping off consumers
Read more >>

Pets Corner Image

Pets Corner

On the wild side
Read more >>

Precinct Perspectives

Celebrate at Victoria Harbour
Read more >>

SkyPad Living Image

SkyPad Living

Vertical dwelling is now mainstream
Read more >>

Street Art Image

Street Art

Goodbye from Blender Studios
Read more >>

Sustainability

A sustainable festive season
Read more >>

The District

Supporting Kids Under Cover this Christmas
Read more >>

We Live Here Image

We Live Here

Short-stay violence spurs action
Read more >>

Abby's Angle  Image

Abby's Angle

The symbolism of the arrow
Read more >>

Docklands Secret - August 2019

30 Jul 2019

Docklands Secret - August 2019 Image

Secret solved: Docklands’ apocalyptic public art

Last month we asked readers to help us solve a Docklands secret: why 757 Bourke St is donned with a big, Vegas-styled “ON THE BEACH” sign.

Responses have been enlightening.

Trish Boal wrote in to ask if it was a reference to the Nevil Shute novel On the Beach: “Would be interested to know if the building had any link to Nevil Shute. He may have lived at or near the site, or wrote the novel there? Movies were made based on the novel in 1959 and 2000.”

Nevil Shute died in 1960, so it’s unlikely he ever visited the actual building, but the reference is on the right track.

Trish included the Wikipedia extract: “On the Beach is a 1957 post-apocalyptic novel written by British author Nevil Shute after he emigrated to Australia. The novel details the experiences of a mixed group of people in Melbourne as they await the arrival of deadly radiation spreading towards them from the northern hemisphere, following a nuclear war a year previously. As the radiation approaches, each person deals with impending death differently.”

Nicholas Gerver wrote in and directed us to a page on a travel website:

“On The Beach by Melbourne artist Janet Burchill was erected in 2007. The artwork references Nevil Shute’s novel about the aftermath of nuclear catastrophe during World War Three. The film adaptation was shot around the Melbourne area in 1959.”

“At the time the lead actress, Ava Gardner, [apocryphally] commented that Melbourne was an appropriate place to film a movie about the end of the world. During this time Docklands was a thriving port, which is not necessarily picturesque, causing this opinion.”

The film also starred Fred Astaire, Gregory Peck and Anthony Perkins.

“The artwork is located in this area because it symbolises the end of the world setting that occurred in Docklands after the decline of industry in the area and before its redevelopment. The artwork uses a neon medium symbolising the area coming back to life.”

And Rose Mercer wrote in to add that original builders in Docklands’ redevelopment were required to erect a piece of street/public art.

Thanks everyone!

Stay in touch with Docklands. Subscribe to FREE monthly e-Newspaper.

You must be registered with Docklands News to be able to post comments.
To register, please click here.