Zelig’s sculpture wins the attention of cemetery staff

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“Lured to the light” by Barak Zelig from Kambah

CANBERRA artists have once again been selected into the unique “Hidden Rookwood Sculptures”, now in its eleventh year and running among the gravestones until early October at Rookwood General Cemetery in Sydney.

The artists are Barak Zelig of Kambah and Julie Monro-Allison, a sessional lecturer and PhD candidate at the ANU School of Art and Design, for her cane and cotton installation among the trees, “Cluster Together Hold Tight”.

Zelig, who likes to use found objects to create small sculptures and steel to create large sculptures, won the Hidden Sculptures Commended and, by an overwhelming vote, the $250 Rookwood General Cemetery Staff Choice Award.

His work, “Lured to the light”, is about the human journey and destiny at the “end of days” tunnel, when people travel towards the light. He draws on concepts from the Jewish Kabbala, where people ascend through 10 levels or passages from this existence to the infinite.

“Cluster Together Hold Tight” by Julie Monro-Allison

Monro-Allison’s work evoke a litter of larval organisms, juvenile beings at the beginning of their life cycles, or a constellation of cocoons. The hundreds of crocheted stitches making up each membrane brings to mind the many hours of care given and received in nature throughout a lifetime.

“Hidden Rookwood Sculptures” is billed as “bigger and better”. Led by a new curator, Sydney artist Kath Fries, the exhibition also has new categories for student entries and short films, which this year attracted  58 submissions made up of 37 sculptures, 11 student entries and 10 short films.

The idea is for visitors to engage with the cemetery as the artworks draw out different perspectives and conversations about the passage of time, love, loss, cycles of life, rituals, contemplation, interconnections and memories. Fries says: “[It] demonstrates how successfully art can connect people with each other and with site, history and cultural practices.”

The top $10,000 Rookwood Cemetery Sculpture Award and the SOPA Artist at the Armory Award was won by Sydney artist Paul Greedy for his work, “Ground-Song”.

HIDDEN Rookwood Sculptures runs in Rookwood General Cemetery, October 7, all welcome.

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Helen Musa
“CityNews” arts editor

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