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Saint brings artists together to mark anniversary

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A group of western suburbs artists of the Catholic faith have combined to produce an art exhibition for a chapel devoted to St Mary MacKillop in Our Lady of Victories Church, Glenelg.

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Commissioned to mark the 150th anniversary of the Glenelg parish, in particular the importance of the Josephite Sisters to its development, the exhibition was opened and blessed at a special Mass celebrated by Fr Anthony Kain on August 11.

The 11 artworks, which include eight paintings, a collage and two textile pieces, have been donated by the artists who became involved after the project was promoted in parish bulletins.

Coordinator and artist Gary Lyons said the group was asked to visualise elements of Mary MacKillop’s life as a nun and her commitment to helping the disadvantaged and providing schooling to children from impoverished families.

The images are displayed in Perspex ‘wave’ frames which were kindly donated by Scott Reed from Resource Furniture.

One of two textile artworks by Margaret Morgan, who was born in New Zealand, features an embroidered image of a Maori motif from Lake Tapo.

She used a medieval needlework technique called Opus Anglicanum to represent Mary MacKillop’s time in her country.

John Farinola said his painting focused on Mary’s vision for education, from her first school in a stable at Penola to her legacy today, and was based on his wife’s 42-year-old involvement with Josephite school Whitefriars.

Margaret Myers highlighted Mary’s “ordinariness” by depicting her hanging the washing on the line while another of her three paintings features Father Julian Tenison Woods who co-founded the Sisters of St Joseph and chaired the committee that oversaw the building of the first church in the Glenelg area.

She said she had a friend with cancer who was a “big fan” of Mary MacKillop and Margaret would take her to Kensington where each time she passed a wooden statue of the saint she would prayerfully touch the hem of her dress.

The chapel at Our Lady of Victories Church was established two years ago after Josephite Sister Christine McArthur donated a portrait of Mary MacKillop to the parish. Sr McArthur was among eight Sisters who joined about 230 people for the blessing which was followed by lunch in the parish hall.

Mr Lyons said the group had formed a strong bond through the project and was planning to do further work together in the future.

 

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