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.
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.