Sheldon and I visited Kensal Green Cemetery in January 2013, on a grey day after a rainstorm. I wore inappropriate shoes. It was muddy and dark and I had with me an old (circa 2005) analogue Canon 35mm camera and a roll of black & white film. I started snapping away while Sheldon taught me about what the different imagery used on different gravestones represents (I’ll let him save that for another blog entry) and together we stepped in many muddy puddles, and it was very cold.
Weeks later, when I got the photos developed, most of them were sludgy and dark and out of focus. I was disappointed but Sheldon pointed out that they looked exactly like the atmosphere of the place on the day we were there, as well as the atmosphere we were trying to capture – old and Victorian and morose.
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[…] The cemetery was huge (72 aches), grand and full of famous people throughout history. We got lost without too much difficulty. Spending time surrounded by grand old chapels and memorials, it’s easy to begin to believe that it’s 1850 and you may soon end up in this cemetery as a result of a particularly nasty winter TB bug. It was clear from the sheer size of some of the memorials, as well as the family names and locations on some of the stones, that Kensal Green was once a place to aspire to be. I felt more than once that I should bow or curtsy to some unknown entity. In truth, it was a little spooky. Once during the afternoon, Sheldon, in his excitement, hurried off to look at something and left me standing among imposing statues of angels. I was a little freaked out. It is this I think of when I look back at the grainy, black and white photographs I took that day. […]
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