Wet plate series: …From the Grave

A few posts back, I hinted at a new wet plate series that was being made. The series are centered around flowers, collected from local graves. The idea behind it is the questions of morale – is it OK to take from the dead? In this case they are ‘just’ flowers that ‘just’ happen to grow on a small plot of land, but is it OK to take flowers that are planted there? Or flowers that someone bought and left for a friend or relative that has passed away? How about any of their personal belongings – going into the subject or ‘proper’ grave robbing? Do we consider the cemetery as a public place of rest where all that stands and grows there belongs to society as a whole?

The advantage to doing this series has been as a practice for my wet-plating skills: to smooth out the collodion pour, better my feel for timing, develop a faster work-flow and provide me with plenty of issues to troubleshoot. Another advantage has been the challenge of styling. Setting up flowers to take a still-life shot has proven more difficult than it should be and I am sorry to say some flowers have been picked without being captured successfully.

I tried to photograph each flower or bunch of flowers as to create a monument for the deceased, to represent something that will last as long as their headstones.

The series is at this time unfinished – even though I initially planned this to encompass only 8 plates – more plates will be added as we progress through the seasons.

 

wet plate series - from the grave

Wet plate series – from the grave; Alice Maud Green, died 1958

wet plate series - from the grave

Wet plate series – from the grave; C.N.Butler, died 1915

wet plate series - from the grave

Wet plate series – from the grave; William Alfred Hugh Peddle, died 1919

wet plate series - from the grave

Wet plate series – from the grave; Bertha Matilda Brock, died 1939

wet plate series - from the grave

Wet plate series – from the grave; Josh Brown, died 1995

wet plate series - from the grave

Wet plate series – from the grave; Minnie Mary Wenham, died 1961

 

 

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