Cold Day Cafe Church St Richmond (or The Life of Mary)

Before Church St leaves Richmond to cross the Yarra and head south into South Yarra (where else?), it dips into a strip of rather fancy cafes and even fancier furniture stores.

So there we were a year ago – sans children – on a mission to buy a new couch and then reward ourselves with coffee to recover from the anxiety of making a major purchase.

A year later here’s a meditation on the day – or a snapshot of it at least. This painting started as an innocent still life of our coffees. But some photos capturing the bustle of waiters, soup suppers and people escaping the cold, girding up to buy more furniture got interlaced into the background.



The Life of Mary - detail 1

The Life of Mary – the Handmaiden

Not being able to leave an idea alone, I turned the moment into an improbable story of the Life of Mary – all playing out at once – the waitress looking into an unknown future, the mother with her precocious child, a woman sharing an unlikely possibility to another, the older woman reflecting on her alternative pasts.

Well this was Church St and it was Sunday and although the churches at the top of the hill were probably empty – perhaps there was something other-worldly and sacred happening in the secular steamy cafe.

The Life of Mary - detail

The Life of Mary – the Annunciation and the Assumption

The Life of Mary

Cold Day Cafe Church St, Richmond – (The Life of Mary)

The Life of Mary - detail

The Life of Mary – Mary in the Synagogue



6 thoughts on “Cold Day Cafe Church St Richmond (or The Life of Mary)

  1. LOVE this painting. You are SO talented. What a great composition, so much going on and the colours are full of life and energy. Who’d have thought that a mission to find a sofa would end up with you making a fabulous painting xxx


    • Thanks so much Lottie – I thought it was a bit mad in a way but once the idea crept in it wouldn’t let go. Paintings seem to take on a life of their own once you start – I’m sure you understand! Hope you’re both doing super well.


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