Remember You Are Dust
Walking through a cemetery I am peaceful and reminded of my humanity. I feel the presence of history beneath my feet and contemplate who might have also walked the same path before me. As I move past monuments I am not scared of death but curious how we see ourselves in that mysterious moment. The cemetery shows us the way we value the lives around us and how the world’s beauty that can be discovered in deep sadness once those lives have ended.
From August 2015 until the end of July 2016 I traveled on a research scholarship to cemeteries around the world visiting Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Germany, Egypt, France, Spain, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan. I visited cemeteries Muslim cemeteries in the desert, Buddhist cemeteries in the mountains, Christian cemeteries by the ocean, and secular cemeteries in the middle of large cities surrounded by high rises. I also interviewed historians, crematorium technicians, artists, architects, public officials, cemetery tour guides, and visited gravesites with the family to whom they belonged.
This group of photographs demonstrates the themes, visual patterns, and different cultural attitudes towards death I discovered during my research. There are 14 stations photographs, one for each station of the cross, and are grouped in pairs which hang across the aisle from one another showing connections between places that are often continents apart. When I view these photos placed beneath the Stations of the Cross I am reminded how the inevitability of death subtly influences every aspect of our religious beliefs and way we choose to live our lives.