In the Spirit of Hands - Exhibition by Linda Espie

Published: Tuesday 5th July 2016

You are warmly invited to the opening of In the Spirit of Hands on Thursday 7 July 6 - 8pm, ACU Melbourne Gallery, 26 Brunswick St, Fitzroy. The exhibition runs from 7 - 18 July (Monday to Friday 11am - 4pm, Saturday/Sunday 10am - 4pm).

The Benedictine Community of New Norcia is the official title of the group of Roman Catholic monks who have owned and operated the small town of New Norcia, which is located 132km north of Perth in Western Australia, since 1847. New Norcia is Australia’s only monastic town, with the Monastery, where the monks live, work and pray, at its heart. The Monastery is set amongst imposing buildings and a rural landscape that is archetypal Australian outback in summer, but bursts forth with lush green and colour during winter/spring.

The monks of New Norcia live according to the guidance and rhythms of The Rule of St Benedict, which has been followed by monks since the sixth century AD. Monks who do so are referred to as ‘Benedictines’, although the concept of monks being part of a religious order is a relatively new concept, dating back only to the 19th century. Unlike many priests and nuns, monks do not join an ‘order’ as such, but instead join an autonomous monastery where they promise to remain for the rest of their lives. The monks who live at Holy Trinity Abbey will often simply call themselves ‘a monk of New Norcia’.

New Norcia was named by its Spanish founders in honour of the birthplace of St Benedict, who was born in a town called Norcia, or ‘Nursia’ in Italy in around 480AD.