A tribute to my parents



Christie’s invited me to write an introduction to the sale catalogue of my father’s art from my collection, which goes on the block next Tuesday, 18th March; coincidentally, my mother’s centenary birthday.

It was surprisingly easy to write. Although after I had sent in the final draft that would go to the printers I felt highly emotional, and continue to feel as if everything that was kept hidden is finally rising to the surface. For so long, my mother was the invisible person in my father’s history. To know that at last she is visible to the world at large has also made me visible in some strange way, which could not have been predicted beforehand.

The essay, together with a second, poignant essay by biographer and essayist Maria Aurora Couto, who knew my mother, can be found by clicking this link. tribute





4 Responses

  1. Hello Shelly, I just came accross your tribute to your parents on Christie’s website. It brought back some wonderful memories of your mum. I boarded with her in Homer St for a few months in the Summer/Autumn of 1976. I was one of the thousands of Australian Backpackers in London but seemingly one of the few who had no interest in living in Kangeroo Valley aka Earls Court. I recall living in your attic bedsit and having long chats with your mum about all manner of subjects but particularly Souza, his art and you. I met you a couple of times when you came home from university, I got the feeling you weren’t happy about me taking over your room!! As a country kid, London and the whole Homer St scene was a real eye opener for me, discovering art and theatre (thank god for half tix). Maria was instrumental in introducing me to this world.
    Janine Gleeson

    1. Janine, I came across your comment today. I apologise for the long delay in replying to you. I have sent you an email.

  2. Hi Shelley, wonder if you remember me. We lived together on Homer street, at your mothers house. If you would like to get in touch my email is posted.

    1. Silvana, I have thought of you so often. In fact, I was just speaking of you recently in a phone call with Rowan Bulmer. I’m mostly in touch with his daughter Tahita but occasionally speak to Rowan on the phone. I will email you.


      Shelley xxxs

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