St. John’s Canberra
Linocut, 130 x 105 mm (image), 146 x 113 mm (sheet), captioned and initialled in pencil by the artist at lower margin ‘St. John’s Canberra / J M’; in very good condition, archivally matted; with a loosely preserved fully contemporary typed note, 150 x 120 mm, containing what is clearly an eyewitness account of a visit to St. John’s, and brief historical details about this extremely significant building, headed ‘The Church of Saint John the Baptist at Canberra, 1929’, and initialled at the foot in ink ‘C. W.’.
A charming linocut by a competent printmaker, whom we have unfortunately not been able to identify beyond their initials, ‘J M’.
The full text of the accompanying note reads:
‘It was a lonely spire, miles from the nearest village, and even now, the next houses are far away. A grove of pines in the centre of the valley surrounded the church, which rose from the piety (and/or pride) of the Duntroon Campbells, former lords of the territory.
Robert Campbell paid half the cost of the nave, built in 1841. George his son added the tower in 1865, and seven years later, John Campbell built the chancel.
In the churchyard, over the grave of Sarah Webb (1845) is the prophetic tombstone, carrying these words:
“For here we have no continuing city, but seek one to come”.
St. John’s Church is built of brown stone. Its austere dignity is a monumental reproach to the costly ugliness of Parliament House.‘