As an exercise in almsgiving over the next 40 days, this webpage will joyfully give up its praise and thanks for one aspect of life, and not always necessarily a religious one.
The Greeks have a word for it – phos, the light, hence the art of “painting with light” was called photography. But to the exponents of the more ancient art of painting with oil or watercolours on canvas, the light seen in Australia must have been a real conundrum. Brighter than that of Europe, and with a harshness that almost leeched colour out of things.
There have been many fine Australian painters who have had to come to grips with the blinding light we have in this country; the turn of the century E Phillips Fox, the internationally renowned Jeffrey Smart, or even local Kenneth MacQueen whose capturing of the Queensland, especially the Darling Downs, is bang on. As good as these trio are though, Grace Cossington Smith remains in a league of her own as one of the all time masters.
Born in Sydney in the late 19th century, the young Grace Smith took a trip to Europe in 1912 which was to be a great influence on her. Although she did sit in on some art classes during the time in England, the best part of the trip was already salted away in her mind’s eye after passing through some German art galleries. She returned to the family’s new home in Turramurra, where she remained the rest of her days and converted parts of it into a studio. At her mother’s suggestion she added “Cossington” to her name to give it a more authentic ring of professionalism. She then set about capturing Australia in a unique painterly fashion. Although her subject matter dealt with the everyday: love, the home, politics and religion, she did so with such a rich colour palette and intriguing eye for detail that it lifted the mundane to the immortal.
To Grace, and to so many others who have captured the light which falls on lives and bounces all around us, we say thank you.
Previous thanksgiving article: Grace
The season of Lent asks of us for sacrifice and the foregoing of many things, but an attitude of joy and gratitude should not be amongst them.
At the outset it should be made clear the viewpoints expressed here are a matter of individual opinion. If any one item doesn’t coincide with your own personal tastes then why not seek to better it with some thanksgiving of your own rather than a critique? You are always welcome to do so at the Archdiocesan website feedback mechanism.
So we invite you to come, walk with us awhile, and be thankful as we journey together to Calvary and beyond to Easter.
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