Assuming the mantle

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  • Published 20130305
  • ISBN: 9781922079961
  • Extent: 264 pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm), eBook

ON THE MORNING I visit Ancanthe, a billowing veil of rain is drifting off the mountain, reducing the trees to downy silhouettes. Then, just as I round the bend past the Pura Milk factory and start up the hill, the sun suddenly appears – that cold, hard sun so characteristic of late winter in Hobart – highlighting the honeyed hues of the little temple’s sandstone pediment and throwing its sturdy Doric columns into sharp relief. It is a very surprising building, even when you’ve seen it many times before. There is something delightfully incongruous about it, perched presumptuously on its stone plinth against a backdrop of eucalypts and wattles, like an unweaned baby Parthenon abandoned by its mother but determined to put on a brave face.

I find it deserted, with only the carolling of magpies and the burbling of the New Town Rivulet to break the silence. Had I come at the weekend, during one of the Art Society of Tasmania’s regular exhibitions, I’d have found the surrounding park abuzz with art-loving picnickers, bushwalkers heading for nearby tracks, and eager little terriers exercising their middle-aged owners.

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About the author

Peter Timms

Peter Timms was born and educated in Melbourne and, from 1971 until 1988, workedin public art museums in Victoria and NSW.He has been a...

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