Sculptor Jeramie Scahill with Gaia’s Prayer Beads.
Sculptor Jeramie Scahill with Gaia’s Prayer Beads. Trevor Veale

Cemetery hosts art on nature

IT'S an interesting concept - putting a sculpture exhibition in a cemetery.

But when the location in question is the biggest cemetery in the southern hemisphere and the largest Victorian-era cemetery still in operation in the world - well, the idea begins to make a lot of sense.

For Coffs Coast sculptor Jeramie Scahill, the Hidden: A Rookwood Sculpture Walk 2012 was the ideal inspiration for his sandstone cement creation, Gaia's Prayer Beads.

The outdoor exhibition will be featured among the graves in one of the older sites of the cemetery and neighbouring areas.

"I'm honoured to be in with all these hot sculptors," Jeramie said of his selection.

"I'm excited to be putting a sculpture in a new show, and by the concept of being in a cemetery."

The on-site sculpture project reveals artists' responses to Rookwood Cemetery and the array of themes appropriate to the site, like love, death, loss and memory.

Jeramie's giant piece is a comment on humans experiencing mortality turning to prayer and hope, and the connection between human and environmental experience. "As Mother Earth receives her diagnoses of environmental breakdown with the heavy toll of mismanagement and abuse, she slides towards the tipping point of no return," Jeramie said in his artist statement.

"We can but pray and hope that cures can be found, because life without her will never be the same."

Jeramie's sculpture will be unveiled on the first day of Spring, and the exhibition runs until October 14.

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