The Blessed Virgin Mary roundel
On the diamond shaped background are shown the symbols of Fishponds – a squirrel, a pigeon, a bell (Dr Bell’s school), the Mothers Union logo, 2 fishes (for Fishponds), ‘2000’ (date of fresco) and a treble clef for music at St Mary’s.
The word ‘Fresco’ orginates from the Italian word ‘fresh’. This particular Buon Fresco style of painting involves the application of pigments to damp lime mortar/plaster. Whilst drying, a chemical reaction takes place binding the pigments to the plaster.
Buon Fresco paintings take great skill to complete – not only by the design and artistry involved, but by using such a rapidly drying medium the artist is severely restricted by time.
Fleur Kelly trained at a number of art colleges and studied under Professor Baker a pioneer in lime mortar techniques. She continued her development with Leonetto Tintori former conservator of the frescoes at Palazzo Pitti in Florence.
The St Francis Frescoes
The Frescoes of St Francis were commissioned by Dennis Kirley in memory of his wife Ruby. October 2002.
Saint Francis of Assisi (1181-1226) was the founder of the order of the Franciscans. Saint Clare of Assisi (1194-1253) founded the Order of Poor Ladies (Poor Clares) of whom chose a monastic life after St Francis.
Centre Main Francis blesses the workhouse children who worshipped at St Mary’s in the 1800’s. Although the workhouse no longer exists the building is now part of Blackberry Hill Hospital. The skyline depicted is a recent, with Fishponds Library, Vandyck public house (ex cinema), a brick sculpture of a fish (on the cycle path), St Mary’s church spire and the old Parnell factory chimney which was recently demolished. The children mid-picture are in Vassals park play area.
Left Main Francis abandons life as a wealthy young man,choosing to follow in the footsteps of Christ. Here he is shown living in poverty having exchanged his clothing for rags and is preaching the Good News about Jesus.
Right Main Francis makes the First Christmas crib
Left Bottom Francis recieves the Stigmata (the five wounds of Christ) whilst praying on the Mount Verna (Italy)
Centre Bottom Francis and Clare share a simple meal. Clare was the first woman to follow Francis, giving up a life of luxury to found an order of nuns (Poor Clares) and follow the teachings of Jesus.
Right Bottom Depiction of Francis’ love of nature: this story is taken from the ‘Fioretti’ – a collection of legends written after Francis’ death. Here he is seen preaching to the birds.