Coffin opening at Cooroy
  • Wednesday 22 July 2009

This week’s opening of an exhibition of painted coffins at Cooroy’s Butter Factory Arts Centre is expected to generate controversy and praise.

The exhibition has already attracted widespread public and media interest due to its arresting theme – the use of coffins, instead of canvasses, to create great works of art.

The exhibition will be officially opened at 6.30pm on Friday 24 July by former Northern Territory Chief Minister Marshall Perron, who championed voluntary euthanasia legislation in the Top End. Mr Perron will speak about how the exhibition will open up a dialogue on the taboo subject of death and show how important it is to have choices, even for our coffin.

As well as food for thought, the opening will include wine and nibbles, live music and local artists on hand to talk about their work.

The artists behind the painted coffins are:
Larian Sloan of Maleny
Jan Scullion of Beerwah
Helen M Downs of Glasshouse Mountains
De Greer Yindimincarlie from the Blue House Art Gallery, Landsborough
Eva King of Eudlo
Bruce Ellem of Clear Mountain (formerly Bli Bli)
Victoria Fitzpatrick of Bli Bli

Visitors can also add their written comments about the exhibition to an unpainted coffin, which will remain unsealed for closer inspection. The coffins are made from eco-friendly cardboard, allowing friends and family members to personalise them in honour of deceased loved-ones.

Local funeral consultant and celebrant Chris Dunn said she had seen families benefit from decorating a coffin in celebration of their loved-one’s life, loves and achievements.

“It can really help family and friends to be directly involved in decorating their loved one’s coffin, because it provides the opportunity to reflect on the positive things that person achieved during their life,” she said.

The exhibition Tree Change, Sea Change, Coffins Change, will be on display at the Butter Factory Arts Centre, 10 Maple Street Cooroy, from 24 July to 11 August.

This project was funded through Council’s Regional Arts Development Fund (RADF).

The Butter Factory is open Tuesdays to Saturdays from 10am-4pm. Entry is free.