Recently I stumbled across a peaceful moment in Katoomba. Located in Civic Place, next to the council administration centre, there is a monument dedicated to peace.

Tom Coley, the sculptor, offered to donate the black granite sculpture titled ‘Peace Memorial’ to the City of Blue Mountains Council in 2009. Coley, born in England and an extensive world traveller, had lived in the Blue Mountains before moving to Tasmania. It is a beautiful piece of public art – you can touch the sculpture, feeling the texture as you take in the serenity of the woman’s expression.

At the commemoration of the statue in December 2009, Coley explained that he had tried to meditate in order to understand what peace is. The tranquility on the sculpture’s face indicates an inner calm that we could all aspire to.

Coley was later commissioned to provide the West Hobart Peace Park with a sculpture that embodies and celebrates the values of peace. You can see ‘In Blanket’ here.

The location of the statue in Civic Place, across the railway line from the main shopping and tourist areas of Katoomba, seems to add to the gravitas of the sculpture. It is located in a small grassed area with seats and tables nearby, in view of the council offices. Directly behind it is the Katoomba Court House, and across the road is a Masonic Lodge building. Whilst it isn’t ‘off the beaten track’, you do need to look for it; it isn’t something that you would usually pass by if you were visiting the mountains for a day.

This sculpture has stayed in my mind and I’m glad I came across it. I’m sure we’ll cross paths again.

Is there any public art in your town or city that moves you?

[Photo: Peace Memorial, Katoomba by Tom Coley]