Saturday, June 21, 2008
Active Memorial Displays - Grave in Avon North Carolina
You really need to see the detail in the image to understand it. Please click on the image above to see it larger.
There seems to be some signs of a change in the way we are inclined to memorialize the departed. The word “shrine” seems appropriate. Perhaps the beginning of this possible trend was the roadside memorial. We’ve all seen them, and there has been at least one photo project to document roadside memorials. I don’t now if it was in Camera Arts or another of the black and white photo magazines.
Contrasted with most graveyards (I’m reminded of my youth, driving by miles and miles of the Forest Lawn graveyard, stretching as far as the eye could see, on the Long Island Expressway) this is a far more vital and active way of memorializing. It also gives the living a means of expression in the present, rather than obsessing just on the past. Generally these memorials have some of the cherished possessions of the departed.
I’ve been following some these memorials in Avon, N.C. for a while, an old fishing community now driven by the Cottage industry : >. Avon lost its share of Watermen to the sea and to the Sound.
The town of Avon, on the Sound side, has an old church (now closed and moved somewhere else) that has a boardwalk to a ship launching pier. Each year a ceremony is held, and an empty skiff is launched to memorialize those who lost lives on the water. That same church has a graveyard that has some active memorial displays. The above image is a recently changed small memorial. The photograph above is a black and white image to which muted color has been added to a few elements. I found this the best way to deal with the somber nature of the subject.