Picture a green chair
under an olive tree.
Peace holds its breath
for anyone who sits there.

So begins Kate Llewellyn’s poem Faith, commissioned by José Da Silva, the curator of this year’s Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art: Inner Sanctum.

Not only will Faith feature in the Biennial and in the accompanying catalogue, but composer Anne Cawrse has adapted the poem into a song cycle called All Flesh is Fire, which will be performed by 16 members of the Adelaide Chamber Singers in the Art Gallery of South Australia over the opening weekend.

Kate Llewellyn and Anne Cawrse.

Kate Llewellyn and Anne Cawrse. Photo © Mark Brake

Now 88 and based in Adelaide, Llewellyn is an esteemed poet and writer of journals, memoirs and essays. She was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in this year’s Australia Day Honours in recognition of her service to literature.

Speaking to Limelight, Llewellyn says she was “happy to oblige” when Da Silva asked if she would write a poem for the Biennial.