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Phil Douglis | all galleries >> Gallery Seventeen: Memories in Metal and Stone: How monuments, sculpture, and tombs express ideas. > Collapsed grave, St. Multrose Burial Ground, Kinsale, Ireland, 2004
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Collapsed grave, St. Multrose Burial Ground, Kinsale, Ireland, 2004

Collapsed grave, St. Multrose Burial Ground, Kinsale, Ireland, 2004

This small cemetery, standing next to a church that was nearly a thousand years old, seemed haunted. Its ancient headstones bear names of families that still live in Kinsale. To stress the haunted nature of the place, I stood over the leaf-strewn slab of a collapsed tomb in the shadowed foreground, and using a wideangle converter lens on my G5, I add the context of the tilted, half buried tombstones emerging from the rich green grass just beyond. The vertical perspective of a wideangle lens, used in close, pulls the viewer into the subject, and indeed, into the grave itself. Scary stuff.

Canon PowerShot G5
1/60s f/4.0 at 7.2mm full exif

other sizes: small medium large original
Phil Douglis15-Nov-2004 20:10
Thanks, Marek, for your response to this picture. I was thinking of this image as expressing a sense of community, very much as your own picture of two headstones "communicating" did at I also enjoyed your observations on the human qualities expressed by the oddly tilted stones at the rear of the picture. I find the idea that nature somehow always gets in the way of our desire for order and regimentation to be fascinating -- thanks so much bring this point up. Its always gratifying to learn that my images contain valid ideas that I had not yet even recognized. Thanks again.
m15-Nov-2004 08:01
I see this image as a kind of comical spectacle behind the ‘sinking feeling’ at the foot of the scene (PI). The sombre, de-pressing (PI) mood of the foreground contrasts us with an ‘oddball collection’ of anarchicly-positioned and shaped stones. They look like random spectators observing the grave -- and us -- and are comical in their drunken-like ineptitude. This image reminds me of two things: 1/Anthony Gormley's (one of my favourite British artists) Field , because it shows the power of our imagination that simple inanimate shapes can somehow be endowed with consciousness and are actually looking at us, and 2/Badly growing teeth. The latter makes me think of the human obsession with order and regimentation, and how nature always gets its way in the end. I like the slight tilt you've introduced to create the feeling of imabalance and emphasise the comic effect of the little guys in the back.

Phil Douglis14-Nov-2004 20:47
Thanks, Zebra, for getting in the first comment on this picture. I considered this image as an excellent choice for my vantage point gallery, but it also works very well in this one, because it does evoke a sense of time and place, doesn't it? In death, as in life, there can be a sense of community, and that is what you seem to imply here. I also must admit that Marek's wonderful image of those "communicating headstones" was very much in my mind as I made this photograph in Ireland this summer.
Guest 14-Nov-2004 18:09
Wow..the first comment!
Phil,you should put this image to your another gallary of "Vantage Point".My glance followed these gravestone from near to far,from the highest gravestone to the lying one.One gravestone is one man.From your vantage point,your shot tell me the relations among these hosts of these gravestones.I think of this photo of m Your gravestones are having a family meeting...hah!
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