Category: Our Life (Page 1 of 2)

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

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.

and I am home


for Anthea

the last of the sun’s rays
linger through the stained-glass door

the latch-gate swings in the breeze
from the sea

stones to the hearth still warm

dust spots dance and swirl
in shafts of light

a timber venetian snaps lightly
against the window frame

familiar fragrances
console and enclose:
freshly plucked coriander
cinnamon incense
a steaming glass
of ginger tea

the cool shaded hallway
pacific and obliging
reaches safely into every expectation

as a murmuring grandfather sea
continues to send soothing breezes

all the day’s monuments fall away
peace is cool and still for a time

and I am home


martin challis © 1981 (reworked 2014)

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