Olivia by Mark Titchner (UK) [Mural 2]

Olivia, 2017
Mural 2. 300cm x 240cm.

Two murals using the response, “Always be happy” by Olivia Taberner, painted by Mark Titchner and the young people (Olivia Taberner, Sophie Careing & Jasper Howard) will warmly welcome visitors to The Turnpike on the first floor. 

Painted in two shades of blue, mural 2 is decorated with the Fountain of Mercurius from The Rosary of the Philosophers(published in 1550), which explores the fascinating world of alchemy, associated with charlatans, opportunists and deluded chemists, and nowadays is often confused with magic and occultism.


The illustration portrays the fountain, representing the soul of man and alchemy's ‘Prima Materia’ - the essential materials needed for the alchemical procedure to work that aims to transmute metals (ultimately into gold) and create the medicine to 'perfect' all people or objects it touches. Flowing from three pipes are the three substances that supposedly flow from the centre of the soul. These are 'Lac Virginis' (the Virgin's milk), 'Acetum fontis' (the spring of vinegar) and 'Aqua Vitae' (the water of life). In each corner are four stars, with a fifth star above the fountain in-between the sun and moon. Above it, appears to be a two-headed serpent, breathing out smoke, which descends on both sides. 


“The bright colours certainly reflect my positive message; the cloud design looks dreamy and relaxing, while the medieval design has a hidden meaning, which Mark tells me is the fountain of well-being. It will definitely catch people’s attention and if it helps just one person feel better, then I will be very happy. Sometimes you need a reminder to let go of something that annoys you and move on. I understand it is virtually impossible to be happy ALL of the time and that we need to give ourselves time to recover so that we can be happy again”.

Words by Olivia Taberner, aged 17 from Wigan.

What I want more than anything else by Mark Titchner is commissioned by FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology), in partnership with Hull Culture & Leisure Library Service, Inspiring healthy lifestyles and Lancashire County Council.