St Joseph’s by the Sea in Williamstown, Victoria (SJBTSW) hosted a contemporary art show recently and we are thrilled to announce it was a huge success.

From Spiritual Meadow Art Exhibition, Williamstown

The exhibition which was part of St Joseph’s by the Sea Prayer and Spirituality Program for 2019 and it featured the works of some famous local artists including illustrator John Spooner, painter Katsuya, local historian and artist Carmel Taig, our very own Sr Therese Quinn and a selection of artworks from St Mary’s Primary School and Mount Saint Joseph’s Girl’s College.  Also featured were works from Aboriginal artists Melissa Bricknell, Doug Smith and Lorraine Nelson.

More than 150 people, local residents in Williamstown and beyond, attended the three day exhibition and listened to talks from artists featured in the show.

The exhibition was curated by artist Robina Astley whose stunning pieces also featured in the show. Her evening ‘walk and talk’ tour of the exhibition was a wonderful highlight as were the words of Melissa Bricknell who spoke of the indigenous ‘Dreamtime’ influence on her work which hangs permanently at St Joseph’s by the Sea.
Spiritual Meadow Art Show at SJBTSW Williamstown

The title for the exhibition, The Spiritual Meadow, is taken from the translated title of a manuscript written by the Byzantium monk, John Moschus, who made a pilgrimage about the Eastern Mediterranean region collecting stories from monks and solitaries providing an intriguing portrayal of sixth century monastic spirituality.

For this program, artists were invited to contribute works that ‘moved them spiritually’.

Funds raised went to supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education through the ‘Opening the Doors Foundation’.

The show was so successful that the Prayer and Spirituality Program committee has decided to hold another Art Exhibition at the end of 2020.

Josephine Cafagna
Member of the Prayer and Spirituality Planning Team

A reflection on the Exhibition by a participant:

The Spiritual Meadow, the recent Art Exhibition at St Joseph’s by the Sea, was a fitting ending to the Prayer and Spirituality programme of 2019 where the emphasis has been on the profound relationship between the arts and spirituality. “What moves us?” was the recurring theme as literature, music and art were examined.

All who attended The Spiritual Meadow were deeply moved – some by simply contemplating each piece of art, others by hearing Robina Astley, the curator of the exhibition, and Melissa Brickell speak of the provenance of their pieces and the spirituality of the creative experience as artists.  Melissa revealed her catholic/aboriginal spirituality and its all-encompassing role in her painting. Robina encouraged several other artists to speak about their pieces.  Sr Therese Quinn and Ingrida Rocis were two such artists. Ingrida also explained how the beautiful ceramic pieces, ‘Mother’s Love’ created by her daughter had come from a dark and painful place.  As one who was at the exhibition and heard all these artists speak with such great honesty and integrity I feel profoundly privileged to have been there.

Mary Debenham
Member of the Prayer and Spirituality Planning Team

Visit the ‘Opening the Doors Foundation’ website

View photos in the gallery below:

Artists - Anna Whie, John Spooner, Therese Quinn,Ingrida Rocis and Robina Astley
Art Show - guests signing in
Student's Artworks
St Joseph's by the Sea by Melissa Brickell
Mary Magdalen by Katsuya
Art by Katsuya and Ingrida Rocis
Descent of Man - Robina Astley
Carmel Tait - Shoalhaven
Carmel Taig - Drying Washing
St Joseph's by the Sea logo by Melissa Bricknell and Anna White
Vase 'Mothers' Love' by Diana Rita Forrest
St Joseph's By the Sea


Photos provided by Patricia Williamson. Used with permission.