Monday, 1 July 2013


 Norfolk Hotel at 47 South Terrace (cnr Norfolk St) in Fremantle, Western Australia has been the social hub of the harbour city since opening as Oddfellows Hotel in 1887. Re-modelled, and re-opened as the Norfolk Hotel, almost 100 years later in preparation for the America’s Cup defence, the corner pub is still a popular drinking spot as well as providing accommodation.

The large mural on an exterior wall is quite amazing and provides an instant recognisable feature in what otherwise could have been a very bland wall. The mural was created by Portuguese street artist Alexandre Farto, better known as "Vhils", who subtracts while other artists add to their canvases. 
He uses hammers, chisels, acid and even explosives to strip away and deconstruct until an image emerges.

Further up is possibly the most significant Jewish site in Fremantle, the former synagogue, which was the first purpose built synagogue constructed in Western Australia. The first Jewish congregation had been established in Fremantle in August 1887. It had the name W.A. Hebrew Congregation, which meant that the later (and much bigger) Perth community could not use this title and had to settle for Perth Hebrew Congregation.

In 1908 the Perth congregation assumed control of the declining Fremantle congregation's affairs. With the Governor's consent, the trustees of the Fremantle group exercised their power of sale and sold the synagogue site to the Perth congregation. Services continued in the Fremantle Synagogue until 1910, by which time the community was too small and services were discontinued. Eventually in 1916 the building was sold to the Department of Defence for £850. The building has been a number of things in its time: Caf√©, carpet shop, clothing outlet - none of which have been terribly successful... The figures of the aboriginals and native animals advertise the fact that it was at one time a gallery of native art.

This post is part of the Monday Murals meme.


  1. I think it is a very nice mural and made in such a special way. Interesting story to it.

  2. I agree with Bieb. I now wonder who the person in question is.

  3. Very interesting. Like the decay on the building formed a face. MB

  4. Love these photos and the artwork on the buildings. This looks very similar to some of our towns here in East Texas.

  5. Beautiful. I love the way the face blends in with the background.

  6. Love this mural that seamlessly is a part of the building! Murals are wonderful works of art but I do like how this one is a part of the building not on the building. What a wonderful artist.
    I like both the other mural and the history but this first one is amazing.
    Wonderful find!

  7. Amazing way to create a mural!
    Have a wonderful week!
    Lea's Menagerie

  8. Farto's work is exceptional. It almost looks like acid was used to dissolve some of the facade. I think we've seen something akin to this in a previous post (but can't remember where or when). Most intriguing. I like Carleta's comment that the mural seems of the building rather than on the building. A great find. Is Farto still in Australia? Thanks for contributing to this week's Monday Mural.


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