Photo artist offers a new view of Ballina's "dead centre"

AS AN artist Mark Davis has always been intrigued by East Ballina Cemetery.

It is high above the town, with commanding views of the coastline.

So one night he took his camera club up there, set up a generator, and started up his smoke machine.

The result was this spectacular infra-red image, The Dead Centre of Ballina - Graves With A View.

It has been selected to be part of an exhibition, A Book About Death, that is coming to Australia for the first time next month.

More than 100 artists from 20 countries have contributed to the exhibition, with works received from Australia, USA, Russia, Brazil, Italy, Hungary, Mexico, Uruguay, Canada and Britain.

Their aim is to encourage people to talk about death.

"It's an interesting subject," Mr Davis said.

NEW LIFE: Ballina artist Mark Davis has submitted this work, The Dead Centre of Ballina – Graves With a View, for the exhibition A Book About Death.
NEW LIFE: Ballina artist Mark Davis has submitted this work, The Dead Centre of Ballina – Graves With a View, for the exhibition A Book About Death.

"Some people look at it and they think it's serene and a nice piece of art, but others will look at it and say, 'I don't want that hanging on my wall'.

"People used to put cemeteries on top of hills because they wanted their loved ones to be closer to heaven.

"I think this exhibition, with its topic of death, is an interesting concept ... trying to get people to talk about it and encourage discussion.

"It makes you appreciate the alternative.

"In some respects I have dedicated my work to a friend of mine who recently passed away."

A Book About Death Australia will be on exhibition at the Tweed River Art Gallery in October.

Northern Rivers artist/curators Julie Barratt and Heather Matthew said local people still had time to contribute to the show.

"It's a fantastic opportunity for local artists to become involved in an international art phenomenon," Ms Matthew said.

Topics:  art east ballina photography

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