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Showing posts from October 3, 2010

Sister Agnes: Fairytales told in the Bush.

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A warm sunny day, the Special Collections room has the fans humming and is a room with a view - of the grounds of Uni Melbourne. This room is quiet and serene and has a special aura. The past is revered and the lucky can take a look back. I came to hold a copy of Fairytales told in the Bush to see if Sister Agnes built on Ernst's narrative structure.
Suggestions that Sister Agnes was inspired by Ernst are hard to believe. Her settings are not descriptive and most of the stories are those remembered from her childhood. She describes herself as a lover of fairies. They belong to her past and are not invented Australian fairytales. She claims two were told to her by King Barak, one days before he died. She paints Barak, variously called King William, last chief of the Yarra Yarra tribe' or 'Beruk (white grub in gum tree) belonging to the Wurundjeri  whose country lay along the Yarra and Plenty Rivers, as a man who will tell a story for the right price, usually a coin. She name…