Month: August 2014

Away to the Silence

As the fire subsides
into furnacing embers
And the ocean’s voice washes
in from across the field
Making ready for sleep
you offer a glass of peppermint tea
and wish for us a restful goodnight

In evening’s air, in night time’s breath,
we sip and without word listen to
crickets rhythmic and persistent as they
chorus at the perimeter of shadows and stars,
to the gentle ones at rest on their perches
each with an eye on the moon
who call or croon at irregular intervals,
to the ageing house who creaks as she
shifts her shoulders
from one side of night to the other

Then with a gentle kiss
and a last wish of goodnight
we turn from this to ebb
away to the silence
away to our sea
of sleep



MChallis @ 2014

Sea of Words

Past and future mirror each other
Fixed at the crossing point
In an infinite and combustible present

In the sea of words
Fluid words endlessly mobile
Anything can be described
Anything foretold

In deep and shallow utterances
Live all the metaphors
In cycling currents
All that is possible moves

Some tales are down for deep remembering
Some swim fertile yet unborn,
All the while the ocean shares her stories
Allegoric and relentless as they wash our shore

Martin Challis © 2006

A Doyen of Australian Art exhibiting at Performance Frontiers this September


Anthea Moffatt, who turns 82 this year will launch her latest works in an exhibition for these times, fittingly titled ‘HOPE”.

We hope you can make the time to come and meet her. Anthea’s full body of work is held in private collections around the world and also at universities in Australia.

The exhibition opens at the Performance Frontiers’ Art Studio at Indooroopilly in Brisbane on Thursday, September 11.

The HOPE collection is a reflection of the values that Anthea holds close. Coursing through her works of beautifully coloured oils on canvas, Anthea’s art is young at heart yet loaded with wisdom and humanity.

In the past, her work has been likened to the meditational frescos and paintings of the Florentine renaissance artist, Fra Angelico.

Anthea infuses her work with a similar spirit. Through intuitive use of colours and patterns and universal motifs such as the tree of life, a symbol for inter-connectedness, life support, continuation, evolution and immortality, Anthea’s paintings manage to draw you in and lift you up.

The artist’s observations of the world she now expresses through this latest collection – some 57 years since her first exhibition in Kingston, Jamaica – reveal a world in reflection, consternation and turmoil. However, as the title of her exhibition implies, a ray of hope runs through as well.

The HOPE collection tells stories of women – thoughtful, tranquil, bearing gifts yet holding their ground; of asylum seekers in boats clinging to life yet angels hovering above; and of nature and the natural world, holding their own space, appearing strongly and gracefully amongst and around the world that humans have constructed.

If people see hope within her work, the artist says, then that is worthwhile.

“Ultimately, I have a core of optimism that seeds into my paintings, that gives an affirmation of hope, of goodness in people and of life.”

“This tells me that we can all be used as a tool of good.”

“After all, where does despair get you? Defeat. Although the refugee issue is a terribly sad thing and the world is full of tragedy and difficulties, I hope my paintings hold optimism.”

“I don’t paint dark paintings and I don’t consciously set out to do something when I paint.”

“Through my art, though, I guess I shall remain hopeful.”

If you would like to attend the launch of HOPE, please contact Kate Jolly – Curator and Event Organiser at the Performance Frontiers Art Studio.

Telephone (07) 3870 8433
Performance Frontiers Art Studio

Seeking Asylum II by Anthea Moffatt (HOPE collection – 2014)


Anthea Moffat was born in NSW in 1932 and is the sister of renowned Australian printmaker, the late Pamela Challis.

From 1949-1953, Anthea studied painting at East Sydney Technical College under Douglas Dundas, Frank Hinder and Godfrey Miller and set off traveling in 1955, living and working through Europe, the UK, the USA, Mexico and Jamaica.

In 1986, the artist added to her qualifications an Associate Diploma in Printmaking from the Canberra School of Arts, however her passion for painting won out and further exhibitions and Australian awards for contemporary painting followed.

Her full body of art works are currently spread around the world, held in private collections in the USA, UK, Finland, Sweden, Jamaica and Germany. The artist is also represented in collections held by the Australian National University in Canberra and Wollongong University.

Today, Anthea lives and paints in Kyogle in Northern NSW.

An Existential Decision

Drown in the blue sky
the blue sea
the green sea
and all the while, white waves, of wash,
cloud or mist arising,
on this rock I am every particle
I can see, and more than I am,
none of this, and separate is
my life a paradox continuum
inexplicably explained as
stable passing impermanence,
if I could drown in the blue sky
I would do it flying.

MChallis © 2014

A Complete and Joyful Glimpse

for sophie and for ollie

inspecting momentarily
the visiting sulphur-crested cockatoos
leave our pine-tree for another, further down the hill

en masse, they fly towards and just above us,
their screeches, loud and unmistakeable
are full of enthusiasm and intent

some, slightly smaller in size, are silent
I wonder if they’re the understudies of the chorus
closely following flight-lines of their elder’s character and bravado

these beautiful creatures, so independently defined
raise a cacophony that exhilarates
every fibre of the soul and fills the heart with laughter

self-less, expanding and enraptured
I briefly lift to the massing of their flight:
a complete and joyful glimpse, of full participation


mchallis © 2014


Rumi 7

“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.” image

“When I am with you, we stay up all night.
When you’re not here, I can’t go to sleep.
Praise God for those two insomnias!
And the difference between them.”

“What you seek is seeking you.”

“The wound is the place where the Light enters you.”

“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing
and rightdoing there is a field.
I’ll meet you there.”

“Don’t grieve. Anything you lose comes round in another form.”

“When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.”