152: Human Presence – Graveyards

So after my last post, I went up to Birmingham to try and visit the factory to see if I could go in and take some pictures of the tunnels, but after wandering around for a good hour or so, I couldn’t find the entrance at all. I was disappointed as I wanted to really get inside, as the open part of the factory was pretty much gone with only rubble on the ground from where some of the buildings had been taken down.

So this meant I had to go back to the drawing board to think about my idea again; the idea of abandoned buildings is very interesting and exciting yet really it would need a greater time limit for me to fully investigate these places to the max. So I started to think more about my themes in greater detail; I was looking at buildings in which there used to be workers/families existing, into which the buildings were now left uninhabited.
So really I was looking at the death of these buildings, when I was struck with an idea that fitted both ideas; graveyards. These are places which are always visited by humans to pay their respects to their loved ones that have passed on. The gravestones are there to show that the loved ones are still with us in memory (similar to the mental image of having a soldier’s uniform hanging up inside a cupboard.

So I started to think about these graveyards themselves being abandoned. If we think about the move recent graves, they are well looked after and cared about deeply. But what about the older graves? What happens to these graves if those that used to look after the graves have moved on? Do the graves turn out like the buildings in which they slowly begin to erode away making it unreadable… yet we can still recognize what these shapes are exactly.

One artist I looked at with Graveyards was Collin Woods. One of his monochrome projects was based on graveyards in various locations (with another project being specific on war graves as well.) The monochrome series was what took my fancy the most, as it has more of an old look to it (possibly due to the photographs but also from the scenery as well.) The graves in these pictures seemed so old and in a weird way, dead.



With the moss covering the front of the graves, the text becomes slowly unreadable to us, making it seem as if time has reached the graves and taking them away from us. To me, I start to think about how these graves have been forgotten by the public in which that the families that used to look after them have passed on so that they are now have no carers. But if you think to war graves, they are looked after by everyone; so why do the graves of these ordinary graves get ignored as well?
To me, it seems like it is almost a lack of respect is given to these graves, as if they aren’t important at all; yet if the families were still around to see this, they would probably be appalled at the way they were being treated.
So I think for my photos I want to look at how the idea that the graves depict the humans there (whilst not showing them…as that would just be creepy) but also at the same time the lack of human presence now in caring for the graves.



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