This c.1954 hand-painted sign is listed on the heritage register for its social and historical significance due to its association with Australia’s post-war migration program. The sign was originally installed as an initiative of the pool manager who was constantly rescuing migrant children from the deep end of the pool: Mr Murphy asked an Italian friend what the words for "deep water" were in Italian and had them painted at the deep end. "Aqua" is actually a misspelling of the Italian word: the correct spelling is "acqua" ("aqua" is the Latin spelling).
A landmark since its earliest days, the sign began an ascent to iconic status with its use as a recurring motif in the famous 1977 Helen Garner novel 'Monkey Grip' (the subsequent film is an Australian new-wave classic). The beautiful metaphor of being in 'deep water' continues to inspire local artists such as Courtney Barnett, whose song 'Aqua Profonda' also preserves the famous misspelling.
Postcards featuring Harper and Charlie's range of original retro prints. Celebrate the culture, architecture and design of Melbourne and Australia with a tiny piece from Melbourne's contemporary design community!
Inspired by art from the 1950s and 60s, Harper and Charlie use vintage print techniques to achieve their authentic feel. If you look closely you might be able to spot the careful details - slipped registration, slight colour-bleed, or light scuffs in the design - that give these beautiful designs their warmth and character.
Material(s): Printed in Australia on 100 percent recycled 300gsm card.
Dimensions (cm): 14.8 x 10.5 (A6 standard postcard size).
How we get Melbournalia to you...
If you're in Australia, we offer flat rate shipping on all orders.
Please see our Shipping Guide for seasonal offers and more information.
We also offer a free Pickup option so you can simply pop by and pick up your local goods in person from Melbournalia HQ on level 5 of heritage, art deco Mitchell House.
Large corporate orders outside the Melbourne CBD may incur a delivery fee.
If you plan on sending your purchase overseas please research local customs and regulations for the country you are sending to and ensure the items comply. Some countries and states within Australia have restrictions on food and other consumables.
Online Gift Vouchers will be emailed - no shipping required