An award winning artist in residence

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Over the past year, Anne Graham has not only maintained her independence via her passion for life and love of art, but has embellished on it since moving into Royal Freemasons...

This is her story.

It’s over a year now since I’ve been here. After my husband died I didn’t want to be on my own and I didn’t want to do domestic chores. After 65 years you get to a point where you think ‘enough!’.

All my life I felt conflicted between looking after the kids and pursuing my passion. Now I can paint as much as I like and I love it. I’m 89 and I want to squeeze as much in as I can. Shortly after the new wing was built my daughter and I had a look. It was still vacant so fortunately we were able to choose two bedrooms although one was converted to a lounge room so I can see friends and still maintain my privacy. I’m very happy and the staff are nice and I enjoy the company of the other residents.

We seem to laugh a lot, usually about ourselves, and that is important. You might wonder why I have an accent. I came here in 1939 from Vienna and my father had a job as an engineer. In Australia I studied at RMIT and then won a scholarship with Emilio Greco the sculptor in Italy and did some archaeology as well, which is my passion. Not that you do much archaeology in Australia! The most interesting is at Sorrento where you find shells and fish bones, but no pottery.

One of the things that I love here are the programs for residents. People who are not active in their passion, as I am with my painting, can attend lectures and films. There are so many activities available. I do attend lectures, an exercise class and there is a hairdresser on site. That’ s about all I have time for because I want to get on with my painting. When I arrived I was thrilled with my accommodation, but I really needed a studio. I’ve painted since I was eight and I don’t want to stop now. The staff kindly went in search of a room for me to paint and there were several options. We found one which has good lighting, airconditioning and shelves where I can keep my work. So you see, I have no complaints!

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