Victoria Spence and Sarah Barry were bestowed the name ‘The Cosmic Nuns’ at Elizabeth “The Goddess” Burton’s memorial in February 2022. They were twinning it in sparkly sequined kaftans made by Megan Oliver.
End of life doulas and holistic funeral directors who are present in the visible spaces of ceremony, as well as the invisible spaces of the mortuary, laying their hands on and taking care of our dead.
They shimmer the fear out of death by bringing it into everyday conversation, moving grief through our bodies with words, stillness, sensational outfits and dance.
A welcome sight for all when navigating the thresholds of grief, life, love and loss.
The Cosmic Nuns are honoured to be your hosts for the opening ceremony for Day for Night.
Aunty Rhonda Dixon-Grovenor
Gadigal, Bidjigal and Yuin elder
As a much loved and respected member of her communities, Aunty Rhonda works tirelessly for human rights and social human rights and social justice. She is a disability advocate and leading force in climate justice, as well as a daughter, mother, grandmother, mentor, elder and friend to many. Aunty Rhonda works diligently to heal Mother Earth and redress power and wealth inequities across society, and is currently completing her Masters at UTS in decolonising methodologies and how to respectfully engage with traditional custodians. Aunty Rhonda works in healing ceremony at Life Rites, The Dusk Ceremonies at The Elephant House at Rookwood Cemetery and Picnic Among Friends.
Since 1988 Victoria Spence has made live art and work at the intersections of cultural, community and creative arts practice as a performer, dramaturg, curator and producer. Artists and companies include, The Sydney Front, Sidetrack Performance Group, Legs on the Wall, DeQuincey/ Lynch, Guillermo Gomez Pena and La Pocha Nostra (Mexico), Blast Theory (UK) and Performance Space. PYT, mardi Gras among other artists, organisations and companies.
Victoria is a holistic funeral director, celebrant, end-of-life doula, counsellor and pioneer of Life Rites’ model of integrated end-of-life and after-death care. With a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre and Philosophy, and two decades in the cultural industries, a Masters in Death, Dying and Palliative Care and training in mind-body somatic modalities, Victoria brings 35 years of unique experience to her work in the creation of Life Rites. and the holistic, hands on and potent re-creation of our death and funeral rites.
Alongside her work in Rites of Passage, she maintains an artist and curator at large practice invigorating community and cultural spaces and is a proud member of the queer community.
Sarah Barry entered the art world via CoFA in 1997, completing a Bachelor of Fine Art in Printmedia, and a Master of Art in Photomedia. She entered the performance scene in 2005, performing many times at Gurlesque and Club Kooky, and has run the Chai Tent at Club Kooky for over a decade.
Also known as Psychic Sarah, she has worked as a full-time professional tarot reader since 2003. She stepped into end of life work in 2005 when she volunteered at Sacred Heart Hospice every week for over four years. She trained as an End of Life Doula and started working with Life Rites funerals in October 2020. She is a holistic funeral director, celebrant and is often involved in the after death care of the people who come to Life Rites.
A proud member of queer community, Sarah loves stepping into and building community in a number of ways, balancing all her careers with the help of her daily Vipassana meditation practice, and drinking lots of chai.