Local teacher portrays Corrosion Control

Kojiro Tomita wrote, “It has been said that art is a tryst, for in the joy of it maker and beholder meet.”

This observation rings true for local renaissance woman, Rose McAllister. Rose is a wife and mother, a teacher, the Co-ordinator of Religious Studies at San Clemente High School, Mayfield, a student of theology and an accomplished artist who has recently staged her first exhibition at ASW exhibition space, Wickham.

For Rose, all these elements, each with its own demands, combine in a seamless garment – and the beholder is the beneficiary. Rose’s exhibition is titled “Corrosion Control” and she says her art “has been inspired through travel, relationships and the study of theology”. In fact, the impact of studying theology – ‘faith seeking understanding’ – has been no less than, in Rose’s words, “falling in love”.

In sharing her deepening understanding, particularly with fellow educators, she seeks to encourage others to consider pursuing this most ancient of disciplines.

“Studying theology has opened my eyes to new dimensions and connections I have with my faith, relationships with others and God. To make the most of this study it needs to be treated as part of the journey, not a chore.”

“Corrosion Control” was opened by former principal of San Clemente, and now Assistant Director, Catholic Schools Office, Tony Kelly. Speaking to a large crowd of supporters, Tony said, “I was touched by Rose’s use of metal and the term ‘corrosion control’. She’s the daughter of a merchant seaman and she married a merchant seaman – she knows metal and rust! It seems to me that rust and corrosion represent the struggles that we all experience and the resin is symbolic of the qualities that maintain the relationships and commitments, in spite of the difficulties.”

Particular attention was drawn to a number of images of St Mary of the Cross MacKillop, a particular inspiration for the artist.

Rose clearly has a particular ability to find beauty others might overlook. Later this year she will undertake a pilgrimage to the lands of St Dominic, founder of the Dominicans, the founding order of San Clemente High School. No doubt this will provide further opportunities to recognise, and record, beauty. As John Keats said, “Beauty is truth; truth, beauty.”

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Tracey Edstein Image
Tracey Edstein

Tracey Edstein is the editor of Aurora Magazine, the official magazine of the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.