Take a walk amongst the graves of Caloundra Cemetery guided by Vanitas, an immersive app experience that mixes real life documentary with touching speculation about the fate that awaits us all: death.

Experience beautifully blended original music and contemplative voices of cemetery workers, cremator operators, historians and botanists through your own smartphone and headphones.

As you begin to wander, you will receive text messages and directions from the elusive person you are destined to meet. Told through the secret language of flowers, and explored by two friends, Vanitas invites deep connection to the world of the cemetery which is at times bewildering and meditative.

The event will run weekdays 3pm – 5pm and weekends 10am – 5pm, with a break from 1pm - 2pm.

Download the Vanitas app from Google Play Store

Download the Vanitas app from Apple iTunes

Image Credit: Rachel Ruysch, Vase with Flowers, 1700, oil on canvas

As the name suggests, the work explores the idea of a ‘vanitas’, a type of still life painting from 16th and 17th century Europe. Vanitas paintings served as a reminder that beauty fades and all living things must die.

Depicting the everyday possessions of a person, the paintings served as a momento mori, to warn of the vanity of accumulating wealth. The message is the same today as it was then: your worldly possessions will outlive you and you can’t take them with you. Now, we have made a vanitas experience for the most treasured possessions of our times: smartphones.

The smartphone interface and central metaphor of Vanitas is a painting: ‘Vase with Flowers’ (1700) by Rachel Ruysch. Each flower in the painting is an episode in the Vanitas experience, which can be unlocked in 216 variations, taking each audience member on their own unique journey through the cemetery.


The Regional Arts Development Fund is a partnership between the Queensland Government and Sunshine Coast Council to support local arts and culture in regional Queensland.

Website by VA