Tag Archives: Ola Cohn

Amore e abbracci to Melbourne and Victoria…

My heart goes out to everyone in Melbourne and Victoria during these extraordinary times! I admit I had a few tears when I heard about the latest lockdown and what so many of you are going through. Melbourne is a place I’ve come to many times because I love it so. It’s also where I came as a student years ago to do research thanks to a university grant, where I celebrated my 40th, did book publicity and tours when I met so many lovely people and where Roger proposed to me back in the 1990s. We fell in love with regional Victoria and have travelled to many different towns over the years and look forward to returning. I wish you all much love, fortitude and perseverance during this time and hope for improvement very soon.

When I heard about the curfew, I thought straightaway that the last time an 8pm to 5am curfew was enacted in Australia was during World War 2 when Italians like my grandparents and grand-grandparents were subjected to it – and perhaps your relatives too if Italian also. At a time when they also had to report into the police station weekly for being from an enemy country during wartime. I don’t know if it may be of some comfort but sometimes knowing others have got through similarly tough times as best they could may perhaps offer a little reassurance that no doubt their same strength is in you too.

I know it is such a small gesture but these pictures are just a few of so many that show how much Melbourne and Victoria mean to us. We wish you buona fortuna and tante belle cose. Our hearts and thoughts are with you and will stay with you all throughout this time. Zoë xx


Filed under inspiration + history

the fairy tree dwellers…

The Fairy TreePart of The Fairies Tree in Fitzroy Gardens, carved in the early 1930s by sculptor Ola Cohn {1892-1964} as a gift to the children of Melbourne. Though my own childhood is distant, I found myself rushing through the gardens to find it. And while there were plenty of beautifully carved tree folk to capture, I was taken by this little group hiding in a notch near the base of the trunk, and especially like the owl.

Afterwards, I read, “A Way with the Fairies”, Ola Cohn’s autobiography, and it was interesting to learn more of this Australian sculptor and philanthropist. For many female artists of a certain era, sadly, their work did not always receive all the recognition it may have merited.

Fairy spiderA gift to the children of Melbourne…

“I have carved a tree in the Fitzroy Gardens for you and the fairies, but mostly for the fairies and those who believe in them. For they will understand how necessary it is to have a fairy sanctuary – a place that is sacred and safe as a home should be to all living creatures.”  Ola Cohn

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Filed under art + photographs