‘Hidden Rookwood’ exhibition launches

ONE of Sydney’s most unique and culturally diverse exhibitions in the most unlikely of spaces, Hidden Rookwood Sculptures 2023 has debuted with 44 finalists, including Szymon Dorabialski.
The free, outdoor annual exhibition, on offer daily from sunrise to sunset until November 19, showcases works from three categories this year – sculpture entries from artists, schools and stonemasons, spanning a diverse range of ages, experiences and backgrounds.
Drawing inspiration from his Slavic roots and Polish heritage, Szymon’s stained glass panels remind his audience of the importance of being out in the open with their own beliefs.

His mosaic pieces break structural and systemic beliefs using everyday objects to reconfigure them into symbols of ritual and worship.
While referencing the architecture from orthodox churches in Bulgaria, he says his artwork is not tied to any particular religion.
“The walls falling down act as a metaphor for the dogmas of all religions,” he said.
“The cemetery is full of contemplations regarding death and our own mortality and my work adds to the contemplation of what happens when we die.”
Hidden curator Dr Kath Fries said there were loads of fascinating entries this year including a wall made from Rookwood soil with imprints of local animals and plants, and a dome structure full of fungi eating through material with viewing peepholes so visitors could observe the natural process of decomposition which takes place at Rookwood daily.
“One of the schools will also feature a tree covered in ‘nests’ made from sticks and natural fibres to depict how we create our homes and lives in the materials that we find around us,” she said.
“Whether you are drawn to the historical significance, personal stories or the evocative sense of place of Rookwood Cemetery, Hidden 2023 is an engaging event for all.”
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