2024 Marist Theme

Image Reflection

God is revealed uniquely to each of us, just as the light falls on each rock in this 80-
metre chasm, so too the Holy Spirit illuminates and reveals God’s presence to us –
in the world and in each one of us.

The light and passageway of Standley Chasm draws you in, like a natural cathedral,
but also invites you to look around the corner and explore further. The photographer,
Nick Psomiadis describes the scene… the sheer cliffs glowing in sunlight, a
spectacular scene to behold as the sun passes over the chasm.

It took Nick three days to achieve this photo because the chasm only receives light
directly at a particular moment. You can notice the presence of light as the narrow
vista changes colour at dawn, but the full strength of the sun is only at an appointed
time of the day.

The notion of visibility and invisibility is central to Aboriginal thinking and rays of light
that rouse the spirit is central to their spirituality. Standley Chasm is known
traditionally as Angkerle Atwatye, meaning ‘Gap of Water’ and is a place of deep
cultural significance to Western Arrernte people as a sacred site of women’s
dreaming and birthing.

The chasm was later named after Ida Standley, the first school teacher in the West
MacDonnell Ranges. For fifteen years, Ida Standley was the only government
teacher in Central Australia and helped to give Aboriginal children a basic education.
Ida was highly respected and described by the press as the ‘beloved lady’.