fresque à la gare saint-Charles, oiseaux colorés
Birds of Audubon Walls

Birds Fresco at Saint-Charles Station

If you arrive or leave from Saint-Charles Station and you pass by the monumental staircase you cannot miss them. At the origin of Contemporary Byzantine painting, the famous artist Fikos with his unique technique half Byzantine half Street-Art,  challenges us in the urgency of the nature in danger, look up and admire the Mediterranean birds which are threatened by the climate crisis more than ever.

Published on 23 September 2021

Why birds?

It all started  in the United-States, specifically in New-York, with the creation of an ecological and artistic partnership between the  Gitler & ___ Galerie and the National Audubon Society (which fights for the protection of birds and wildlife). This project called Audubon Mural Project involved using street artists to paint on the walls of  New-york City, graffitis  representing endangered birds. The name Audubon comes from the painter naturalist of the XIX century,  Jean-Jacques Audubon, who painted and drew North American birds. He is considered the master of  Ornithology. This project quickly spread far beyond New-york’s streets. Today, we can find these “birds” blooming all over the world.

A fresco in Marseille?

In France, it is the COAL association that continues this movement called here ” The Walls of Audubon”.  COAL is a cultural and artistic association that, like in New-York, invites artists to paint endangered birds on the walls of French cities. There are currently 3 in France. In Anglet (town of Pyrrénées-Atlantiques) where there is a fresco of 11 migratory birds. In ‘Boulogne-sur-Mer’ (town of Pas-de-Calais) with a Crecelle Falcon and the latest one in Marseille.

The latter is the work of the Greek artist Fikos. His monumental work includes Mediterranean migratory birds (The Tricky Ear, a black and white passerine, the hoopoe fasciata, the blue mound) and American birds (the mountain mockingbird, the american nutcracker). Inspired by the works of the painter Jean-Jacques Audubon, the artist Fikos wanted to pay tribute to Marseille by painting on one of the birds, the Greek navigator and explorer, Pytheas, so dear to Marseille. This work was financed by the Art Climate Transition (ACT) network, whose aim is to make as many people as possible aware of current climate problems. It was produced at the same time as the World Conservation Congress opened in Marseille.

If you pass by, go down a few steps and admire on your left the birds and on your right the Good Mother, they welcome you both to Marseille.