Deakin University

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Ladies of the Cemetery

posted on 2020-06-01, 00:00 authored by Donna McraeDonna Mcrae
Ladies of the Cemetery



Bridge Gallery, Melbourne

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A multi-channel video installation about two 19th century female ‘ghosts’ in the Cheltenham Pioneer Cemetery – their home for over a hundred years. This work will engage with local heritage, post-colonial critique and spooky thrills.

Research statement

Research Background I am interested in the ghost and gothic genres and the effectiveness of using these genres in the moving image. My interest is the threefold embrace of ghostliness that the moving image offers us. These are, firstly, the medium itself: the realm of silvery light that re-animates human forms that have become mythical to us; secondly, the moving image’s capacity to explore our inner histories and politics through story-telling, especially via the sometimes underestimated genres of ghost films and horror; and thirdly, our (the audience's) relationship, both personal and public, to our own stories and heritage. Research Contribution I believe that ghosts and memory are central to our existence. They live in our past and act as a rich resource. Can we learn from them in order to shape our future? And, through storytelling, how can they represent contemporary themes? This project researches the history of the City of Kingston through the Cheltenham Pioneer Cemetery and investigates stories of pioneer women. In a place where hardships were commonplace and women were not treated fairly, these women paved the way for their later sisters to flourish. In the contemporary environment, this project provides an opportunity to reconsider colonial history through a feminist lens. Research Significance The value of this work is attested by its publication at the Bridge Space gallery at City of Kingston (June 1-June 30th), and at two other galleries : Despard Gallery, Perth (November 2020) and Mars Gallery, Melbourne (date TBC because of COVID restrictions) There has been an review published about the work in Screenhub on June 23, 2020. (attached) The City of Kingston also made a promo video of the work (see attached).

Publication classification

JR1 Recorded/Rendered Creative Works – Film/Video


NTRO Minor


1xMOV file

Recognition, awards & prizes

This project was the recipient of a City of Kingston arts grant


City of Kingston

Place of publication

Bridge Gallery, City of Kingston, Melbourne , Victoria

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