CLIFTON PUGH (1924-1990) was an Australian landscape and portrait painter. His engagement with the bush, however, stands in sharp contrast to the familiar landscapes of artists such as Arthur Streeton and Frederick McCubbin. Continue reading “CLIFTON PUGH, LANDSCAPE and SUFFERING”
Melbourne architect GREGORY BURGESS (b. 1945) is known internationally for public architecture which both expresses the spiritual and creates a unifying communal experience. His work has included arts and visitor centres, educational and health facilities. Continue reading “A GOOD PARISH CHURCH OF 1987”
This set of Stations of the Cross was commissioned by the Aboriginal Catholic Ministry of Victoria in 2017 and are arranged along the main wall of their chapel in Thornbury, Melbourne. They were imagined, dreamed and painted by John Dunn, an Olkola/Djabaguy man from Far North Queensland.
According to ancient tradition in the Church, the Book of Gospels is carried in the entrance procession at Mass, placed on the altar, and then ceremonially taken to the ambo for the proclamation of the Gospel. The Book of Gospels has always been given special respect and dignity in the Church because it is an icon of the presence of Christ to the liturgical assembly. Continue reading “A BOOK OF GOSPELS”
St Patrick’s Cathedral, Melbourne, Victoria
The nineteenth-century Gothic Revival Cathedral of St Patrick’s, Melbourne, Victoria (1858-1899, 1930s, 1970s, 1990s) is a place for Christian worship. It is a house of prayer, a dwelling-place of the Lord among God’s people. St Patrick’s has been part of my life since before I was born. In 1950, my Swiss-Polish parents, new post-WWII immigrants, were married in the cathedral sacristy by a Polish priest. The architect of the cathedral, William Wilkinson Wardell (1823-1899), became the topic of my doctoral research in the 1980s; and in the early 2000s my youngest daughter was married in the cathedral. It was in the 1990s that I began visiting the Ladye Chapel whenever I was in Melbourne. My younger brother was diagnosed with cancer in his mid-twenties and I found great comfort in simply being present with Mary, mother of us all.
The Australian sculptor, Thomas Dwyer Bass am, was born in Lithgow in 1916. After various jobs during the Depression and army service during WWII, he began his career as a sculptor on graduating from the National Art School in 1948. Prior to the war, Bass attended Dattilo Rubbo’s art school; it was here he was initiated into the principles of art. At the National Art School he came under the influence of Lyndon Dadswell whose assistant he became during 1949-1950. This was followed by a three-year stint of teaching there. From 1951-1964 he held various executive positions with the Sculptors’ Society, of which he was a founding member. Continue reading “TOM BASS: in his own words”
Victorian sculptor Ernst Fries is known for his monumental works in stainless steel and granite, glass and concrete. He was born in Würzburg, Germany, and after a difficult childhood during World War II, studied gold and silver-smithing in Switzerland. He came to Australia in 1959. He settled in the Yarra Valley in 1986 where the landscape inspired him to explore themes of rebirth and new life in the elegant clean lines of his modern sculpture. With work in gallery collections in Australia and overseas, he has received many commissions for public sculpture, for example, in 2013, the glass and concrete panels of the Yarra Glen Black Saturday Memorial. Continue reading “Ernst Fries (1934-2020)”
When first saw this piece in the early 90s, I was also exploring the Catholic faith. The imagery of an icon was immediately recognisable and arresting. The simplicity of rendering in apparent monotone and the animation of the child I found appealing. It represented for me a gentle welcome into a faith community that has since become my spiritual home. It also became a vehicle for a line of enquiry into my place in the Church and that of women in general. Continue reading “Natasha – a personal reflection”
“His glimpses of the ineffable are translated to us in terms of dancing, for his paintings are a choreography of the spirit – but the dancing is never extravagant. It has the formal quality of a saraband. Every movement, every gesture, every brushstroke becomes part of a ritual.”
James Gleeson, review in Sydney’s Sun, 14 June 1967.