“Whispers from the Grave”
“Just inside the gates, the winding roads through the graveyard entice you onward. Lined with the color of life opposite the shadow of death, headstones mark the way. Tombstones rise like silent shrines. There is a quietness here. Lives end, memories begin. The great and the unknown alike share the same ground. Their dust equally absorbed by the earth. Death is not an end. It is an equalizer.” – from the series
Some people don’t like graveyards, but I have always thought they can be places of incredible beauty. Not contemporary graveyards with their regulated markers lacking in character, but historic graveyards with their exquisite landscaped artistry and endlessly varied architectural designs.
The differing sizes, shapes, colors, and textures of grave markers unapologetically make unrestricted statements of social standing. Gravestones range from mere faded plaques on the ground to individual mausoleums and shrines as big as a house. As you stroll through historic graveyards, one cannot look down and help but ponder a gravestone dating back generations, wondering if even a scant memory has survived the centuries.
In 2009 I envisioned an inspirational series of graveyard pictures and impassioned meditations. I created a series of fine art photographs and art and tasked my wife with writing inspirational messages to accompany them. We originally named the series “Fall Unto thy Grave” mostly because the pictures were taken in Autumn. The series gathered some attention because it offered inspiration, and those who were aware of it liked it very much. But I made no real effort to publicize it and eventually pulled the series from public exhibition.
The series was lost for a couple of years, but I recently rediscovered it. I began to read the inspirational messages my wife had written and instantly tears were brought to my eyes. The thoughts are so powerfully emotional – about life and death, about forgotten memories, about great joy and deep sorrow – that I decided to publish the body of work once again. My hope is to inspire others.
The project consists of fifteen images and inspirational thoughts, and spans almost 5 years of work. Pictures were taken in historic graveyards during the Autumns of 2006-2009.
The blending of graveyard sadness and lively colors, as beautiful fall leaves tumble to the ground to join those who have passed in their eternal resting place, is symbolic of the mysteries of life and death. The colorful leaves, as well as ourselves, both eventually become the enduring dust of the universe.
Because so much of our life – our existence – is abstract at best, images have been Continue reading