Cumberland City Council partners with Rookwood Cemetery to support the Western Sydney art scene.


Development award and workshop for artists to engage with Cumberland City Council follows the HIDDEN Rookwood Sculptures walk through historic Rookwood Cemetery.


Sculpture artists Leisa Sage and Tom Blake have been awarded the Cumberland City Council-sponsored professional development award. They were chosen from artists featuring HIDDEN Rookwood Sculptures with a connection to Western Sydney through residence, family, work and/or study. The award is designed to support the development of a project that creatively and directly engages with the Cumberland community. This award includes mentoring and a studio residency at Council’s brand-new community arts facility The Granville Centre.

Tom Blake is planning an installation of de-silvered mirrors in the Auburn Botanic Gardens to interact with the foliage and kid-friendly art workshops titled ‘drawing to sculpture’. Leisa Sage’s proposal involved community workshops to create cyanotypes inspired by loved ones. Cyanotypes are one of the oldest printing processes in the history of photography with a distinctive shade of blue, which results from its exposure to ultraviolet light.

Cumberland City Council is also supporting the artist-run Ceramic Fortune Cookie Workshop with Jayanto Tan. The workshop is part of HIDDEN’s public program, where participants join Jayanto in creating hundreds of colourful ceramic fortune cookies for his upcoming HIDDEN Rookwood Sculptures installation. The 16 July workshop is free to attend with materials included. Bookings essential.

HIDDEN Rookwood Sculptures launches 10 September and is available until 9 October 2022. Over 70 established and emerging artists are set to take part in the open-air exhibition which invites the public to engage with the richness of Australian sculpture against the backdrop of Rookwood Cemetery’s diverse cultural landscape. The iconic sculpture walk (established in 2009) is a platform for community engagement and showcases Rookwood’s historic monuments and cultural gardens. Artists creatively respond to the cemetery’s contemporary relevance by reflecting on personal narratives, cultural practices, history, and the cemetery’s evocative sense of place. In 2022, 55 works will be on display within Rookwood’s grounds, including sculptures, installations, performances, and short films.

“Partnerships like these demonstrate how much we value the strong connection between Rookwood Cemetery and our local council,” commented Kath Fries, curator. “HIDDEN would not be possible without community support and we are proud to provide opportunities for the arts and public engagement.” “There’s a lovely connection between Leisa and Tom’s site-responsive projects with Cumberland City Council and HIDDEN Rookwood Sculptures. Both are developed from different experiences of place and engage with people from the local community who visit these public spaces; from Rookwood Cemetery to Auburn Botanic Gardens, and The Granville Centre.”

In additional to Cumberland City Council, HIDDEN 2022 partners with Dharug Strategic Management Group, Friends of Rookwood and ACU McGlade Gallery.

HIDDEN Rookwood Sculptures will run from 10 September to 9 October 2022. The public program for HIDDEN 2022 will include a self-guided audio tour, curator tours, d/Deaf-led tour, tactile tour, short film screenings, dusk tours, Rainbodhi tour, public photography competition, Shape Note Singing and education events with VADEA (Visual Arts & Design Educators Association) for high school art teachers. See for dates and details

HIDDEN Rookwood Sculptures 2022 Artists

HIDDEN Sculptures

Maissa Alameddine, Basketry NSW, Mark Booth, Priscilla Bourne, Cybele Cox, Farnaz Dadfar, Ellen Dahl, Suzanne Davey, Chris Dolman, Szymon Dorabialski, Kate Dunn, Tina Fox, Stevie Fieldsend, Maddie Gibbs, Karen Golland, Philippa Hagon, Hyun Hee Lee, Em Ingram-Shute, Adam King, Pamela Leung, Joanne Makas, Mahalya Middlemist & Laurence Hall, Kathie Najar, Clare Nicholson, Katy B Plummer, Niall Robb, Leisa Sage, Bernadette Smith, Olga Svyatova, Jayanto Tan, Alan Tulloch, Josee Vesely-Manning, Lachlan Warner, Eduardo Wolfe-Alegria, Whimbrel Wilson, Anne Zahalka & Dorit Braun.

HIDDEN Students

Schools: Barker College, Cabramatta High School, Hurlstone Agricultural High School Emerging: Kristy Gordon, Benita Laylim, Louisa Maxim Community: Cumberland Artists Together (CAT)


Rubyrose Bancroft, Tom Blake, Natasha Cantwell, Lynn Dennison, Amala Groom, Elise Harmsen, Danica I. J. Knezevic, Jacqui Malins, Jacqui Mills, Monica Rani Rudhar
Key dates:



Rookwood General Cemetery is responsible for the management and longevity of Rookwood Cemetery. We maintain over 400 unique interment grounds, historic and modern memorial areas, culturally specific gardens, three beautiful chapels and a state-of-the-art function centre. To further meet needs of families, we customise interment practices to respect different religious and cultural beliefs.

Rookwood is also one of the largest green spaces in Greater Sydney; making it the ideal setting to explore. HIDDEN, along with events such as tours, workshops, and open days; provide unique opportunities for the community to engage with the historic site.

Rookwood General Cemetery is a part of the Office of OneCrown Cemeteries: A Government initiative entrusted to bring together Rookwood General Cemetery, Northern Metropolitan Cemeteries and Southern Metropolitan Cemeteries, while the Government determines the final operating model for the Crown cemetery sector.

Media enquiries:
Kristy Wan

Marketing & PR, Rookwood General Cemetery

0410 819 191