Saturday, May 11, 2019


Can you imagine being at a cemetery for a funeral and seeing a mass of giant spider sculptures?  That was one of the sculpture exhibits at Rookwood Cemetery as part of its annual HIDDEN Sculpture Walk.  I wasn’t aware of the existence of such an event until a short time ago, here are some notes and images . . . 
  • Rookwood Cemetery (officially named Rookwood Necropolis) is a heritage-listed cemetery in Rookwood, Sydney, New South Wales.  It the largest necropolis in the Southern Hemisphere and is the world's largest remaining operating cemetery from the Victorian era. 

  • There are 915,000 people (figures as at 31 December 2014) that have been buried and cremated at Rookwood, which covers an area of 314 hectares (780 acres). 

  • The cemetery was officially opened in 1868. 

  • Originally known simply as the Necropolis (meaning "city of the dead"), residents of the local area lobbied officials to have the name of their village changed from Haslem's Creek due to its association with the cemetery. In 1879, the villagers got their wish and the area's name was changed to Rookwood; however, before long, the Necropolis was also being referred to by that name. The settlement of Rookwood changed its name to Lidcombe, as a portmanteau of two mayors names, Lidbury and Larcombe. The cemetery retained the name Rookwood. 

  • The name Rookwood is most likely an accidental or deliberate corruption of the name Brookwood Cemetery and its associated railway station. At the time of Rookwood's opening, Brookwood Cemetery, located in Brookwood, Surrey, England, was one of the largest cemeteries in the world. 

  • From the HIDDEN website: 

Exhibition Dates: 7 September - 7 October 2019
 Now in its 11th year, HIDDEN was established to encourage the public to visit and explore Rookwood – the oldest, largest and most multicultural cemetery in Australia. Each year the exhibition attracts almost 5,000 people and is now a firm favourite in the Sydney outdoor sculpture scene.
 In 2018 HIDDEN expanded its reach into the broader community with a feature on national TV, whilst also attracting global attention from digital artists exhibiting in our new HIDDEN Films program.
 Further to this, Approval has been given for the continuation of HIDDEN until at least 2023. This commitment brings opportunities to develop youth, community and accessibility projects within the HIDDEN program. Accordingly, we have developed a number of partnership opportunities to support these initiatives. 


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