Monday, June 29, 2015

Fort Lauderdale/Miami- A Mythical landscape in South East Florida

South east Florida is an amazing place. I have spent the last four months working in Fort Lauderdale and have had my share of chasing invasive exotic lizards, viewing some very interesting art and generally exploring the area. I wanted a post with a bright thread of mythology running through it because more and more I noticed these themes popping up in everyday exploration.
The first thing that I was introduced to was Pegasus Park at the Gulfstream Casino and Horse-track. This was the reason for my time in Ft Lauderdale- I worked on the sculpted rock from which the bronze pegasus emerges and it was about a four month project. The 150 ft. tall sculpture is of the mythological winged horse trampling a dragon. The owner of Gulfstream Park explained that this is a symbol of good triumphing over evil. The project can be watched by live feed on the web at What is strange is how this figure's origin bleeds into my next encounter with a mythological creature. Not everyone knows that Pegasus was born from the blood that issued from the Gorgon Medusa's body when she was slain by Perseus. Fewer still are the people who associate Medusa with jellyfish and other sea life. Enter Medusirena.

Medusirena the Fire Eating Mermaid heads up a mermaid show along with her "Pod" at the Wreck Bar in Fort Lauderdale. The Wreck Bar is located in the historic Yankee Clipper hotel and is worth touring just for its architecture and history. On Friday and Saturday early evenings the retro mermaid show is one of the coolest things you can see in the area. Marina will tell you the history of such performances, if you are lucky enough to speak to her, and also speak with great knowledge of other denizens of the water- marine biology being one of her first loves.
Marina swims by one of the windows at the Wreck Bar which looks out into the hotels pool.
A member of the Medusirena pod performing.
This chimera is on display at The Wolfsonian in Miami. The Wolfsonian is a museum of design and well worth a visit. This Chimera was part of a larger ironwork piece and yet another example South Florida fantastic beasts.
Minotaurs in Wynwood! Along with a host of other crazy murals I happened on this one Sunday walking through the arts district.