I enjoy the sense of history you get in a cemetery and the peacefulness of the location. In the hundreds of hours I’ve spent photographing in and around cemeteries, I’m always conscious that I seem to be the only one there at any given time, yet there is so much evidence left behind by visiting people: new fresh flowers, carefully manicured and tended-to grave sites, older faded silk flowers that no longer remain in their vases. Mostly, this evidence is of someone visiting and expressing that they were there and that they cared.
For this series, I decided to montage older graves and their flowers together by taking double exposures of the two scenes into the one frame. The softness and old-style look the Holga gives, combined with double exposures, create a dreaminess, a sense of memory, but one that is not solid. It is almost like the graves and flowers are efforts made by people to preserve a fading memory, so I want my pictures to convey a sense of that feeling.
As I used both old out-dated and new black-and-white film, I found that the print quality of silver-gelatin prints varied too greatly to make consistent darkroom images. I decided to scan the negatives and making the necessary fine adjustments to their contrast in Photoshop to bring these images together, and print them onto archival fine-art paper using an inkjet printer. I’m hoping that these images offer you a sense of the care from those who have visited the cemeteries in the evidence they’ve left behind.