Brisbane artist, 91, is ready to ‘face’ life's challenges

"EVERY face has a story to tell whether it's surprise, anger, sadness, fear or happiness," says 91-year-old Brisbane artist Anne Brache who regularly takes to the sidewalks to capture human expressions for her paintings.

This spry bright-eyed lady, who will display her work at a special exhibition at the Royal Queensland Art Society gallery on Petrie Terrace in March, says she has been an artist and art lover all her life winning awards for photography, pottery, ceramics, embroidery, wood turning and painting.

Anne works at her studio in Milton twice a week and will celebrate her 92nd birthday on March 1, the opening day of the exhibition she is sharing with friend and painter Ruth Francis.

"The mind and brain are very powerful tools - they can make us think we are young or old; they create 'reality' in a sense, because what we think determines what we can and can't see or do," says Anne, who enjoys life in the bustling cosmopolitan inner-city suburb of West End and says she's too busy to be sick.

Born on Guernsey Island in the English Channel, off the French coast of Normandy, Anne came to Australia as a teenager with her father and mother and brother on a 15-metre French fishing boat.

"We were two years at sea, stopping off at many exciting ports on the way. We were in Tahiti when World War 2 broke out in 1939," she said.

Anne lost her Australian husband Lance, a Duntroon army officer, in 1988. She has since filled her life with her many talents. She is an avid reader and poet and attends classes at U3A (University of the Third Age) to pass on her painting and photographic skills.

Her inspiration for her paintings comes from the faces in the streets, she says.

"I memorise them, or if a person lets me, I take photographs," she said.

The exhibition by Ann and Ruth Francis will be at the Royal Queensland Art Society's gallery, 162 Petrie Terrace, from March 1 to 15.

For further information call (07) 3367 1977.

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