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Frazer’s Party Hats

Frazer’s Party Hats, digital print on card, wood, 2020

The gargoyles featured in Frazer’s Party Hats (2020) are captured from Frazer Mausoleum, located in Rookwood Cemetery, Sydney. This sandstone gothic cathedral-in-miniature was once the family vault of John Frazer, an Irish immigrant to Australia who became an influential Sydney merchant.

The function of the gargoyle in gothic architecture is both symbolic and practical. Besides warding off evil, gargoyles function as a spout to convey water from the roof and away from the side of a building, thereby preventing rainwater from running down masonry walls and eroding the mortar between.

In creating this work, I playfully considered Frazer’s gargoyles as protectors of the deceased, while also directing rainwater that may aid and sustain the ecosystem of the cemetery. I wanted to push this idea further into the frame of the living. Frazer’s Party Hats breathes the promise of frivolous celebration from an icon of fear, and, ushers the authority of sandstone into the vernacular of make-do wearable cardboard construction.