Assuming the mantle

Featured in

  • Published 20130130
  • 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.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Share article

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...

More from this edition

Long grass over home

FictionWinner of the 2012 Josephine Ulrick Literature PrizeFor Jannine GrahamMRS ESDALE BOUGHT her petrol there until she got too old and had her licence...

Outside looking in

MemoirI QUITE LIKED living on the periphery when I was growing up in Tasmania and I quite like living on the periphery now. Where...

Stay up to date with the latest, news, articles and special offers from Griffith Review.