Thursday, June 18, 2009

Three Muses challenge: Doors




GATE KEEPER

Pierre Lachaise Cemetery, Paris, MMVI

I was never a Goth but in my ceaseless pursuit of ancestral forebears, I've been wandering around graveyards and cemeteries since the age of 15. It's probably not the healthiest of pursuits, psychologically speaking, and a friend of my sister's once asked me: "so what do you do when you've found these dead people you're looking for? Say "ha ha! You're dead, I'm not?" Notwithstanding unhealthy obsessions with the past, the resting places of the departed provide wonderful source material for art works. Those in major cities are especially rich in imagery. and my holiday snaps always include a fair smattering of tombstones and mausoleums (and dodgy-looking electrical wiring, but that's another story)
This layout began life as a photograph taken in the Pierre Lachaise Cemetery in Paris where Jim Morrison and Oscar Wilde are buried. Many of the monuments there have become three-dimensional scrapbooks or visitor books. Jacob Epstein's tomb for Oscar Wilde is smothered with thousands of lipsick kiss-prints left by adoring acolytes. Other graves display touching and lyrical collections of devotional offerings from those who have made pilgrimages to the final resting places of their heroes and heroines: ornaments and statuary, rotting or desiccated floral tributes; photographs, poems and messages on scraps of paper, dolls and teddies; little pebbles that mark a visit with still, silent dignity, and in the case of Jean Paul Sartre (buried in the Paris Montparnasse Cemetery) cigarettes and a bottle of beer.

20 comments:

Lori Saul said...

This is hauntingly beautiful- you blended the many images so masterfully. I love that you used one of your own photos as well. Brilliant!

Lynn Stevens said...

This is so inspirational, So I guess I need to spend more time wandering around in those graveyards!

indybev said...

What a wonderful story to enhance your art, Lumi! I, too, have an affinity for cemeteries, and I love reading the old tombstones. Once, when finding the stone of an ancestor, I pulled away the grass to read the message, which gave me pause for thought. It said "Think of me as you pass by; for you, too, shall surely die". They thought dark thoughts in those days, didn't they!! Thanks for participating in our challenge.

Anne said...

This is a cool piece of artwork! And your write up was wonderful. Thanks for sharing how you created this, too.

Terri Kahrs said...

Beautifully composed and thought provoking. I love that you've done something creative with things that are so meaningful to you! Bravo!

Sandra said...

Amazing blending again! Very ghostly hobby I must say, but awesome pics and stories to tell. Thanks for explaining. btw, I'm a big fan of Oscar Wilde too!

Mary said...

This is a wonderful, evocative piece. Here in New England people make rubbings on paper from the old headstones which can be quite detailed in design.

Kimmie said...

I love that statue - I've seen it before - I thought then (and still do) that it looks like the figure is holding back a tide. The way his hands are palm backward, thumbs down. As if there is a force of heaviness trying to break past the barrier of his standing place.

You'd probably love New Orleans (Louisiana) - I haven't been - but it sounds like a cool place for stuff like this.

Beautiful rendering of "Gatekeeper"

stamp and scrape said...

Thanks for sharing this - a very powerful and emotive piece. I sat and looked at it for quite a while.
Ros

Ozstuff said...

Lumi, your art is always spectacular and beautiful and your door is magnificent. I love the atmosphere created by the green colours - an air of mystery and foreboding. I thoroughly enjoyed your story and, along with you and Bev, I love old cemeteries and the stories they tell. Thanks so much for joining in the challenge this week.

herminesplace said...

WOW impressive

Martina2801 said...

Really great artwork !

Taluula said...

Lumi your artwork is often astonishingly beautiful and this piece certainly is. It's so creative and mysterious and the colours you've chosen are exactly right. I too like to look at, and photgraph, grave stones, pop up to Whitby Abbey Lumi if you haven't already, the gravestones up there at the church are worth the 199 steps climb.

Janny said...

Great job!

Elizabeth Golden said...

Simply wonderful! I love it!

Eila A said...

Your interpretation of the theme is absolutely original! You have created a very impressive image.

Diane said...

Mystical, beautiful and a little creepy! Love it!

~*~Patty Szymkowicz said...

WOW, wonderful and mysterious!!!

Tumble Fish Studio said...

I have to say my friend, you are very deep in your work, very intellectual and sophisticated. I wonder if you are disappointed by your viewers' reactions. Blog world seems to have its pace, its quick gratification, and your work stops the momentum, draws attention, a deeper look, a different thought process, a not always pretty and neatly wrapped reaction. This, all of it, is meant as a compliment, but I wonder if you are frustrated by the reactions you get, no matter how complimentary. You are very intellectual in your work - there is a very precise story in it that might get lost without your narrative - that happens in a lot of art work and is not a criticism. The artist understands that their work will be interpreted. It is still art and still successful whether the precise story is read or not. I mean this all as a compliment to your deep mental work in each piece as well as your technical skill. It moves me. It puts me in places I would not visit in my normal processed instant gratification life - it makes me think, ponder, and welcome the beauty in life's imperfect circumstances and events. It is very real, very raw, and very beautiful. Well done my dear friend!

WildGoose said...

An interesting read, and a quite evocative,albeit even slightly provacative,seemingly dark picture that invokes contemplation!