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Phil Douglis | all galleries >> Gallery Twenty Eight: Using symbols and metaphors to express meaning > Discarded flowers, Cuenca Cemetery, Cuenca, Ecuador, 2011
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Discarded flowers, Cuenca Cemetery, Cuenca, Ecuador, 2011

Discarded flowers, Cuenca Cemetery, Cuenca, Ecuador, 2011

A grim concrete container contains a discarded bouquet of flowers, symbolizing the thin line that exists between life and death itself. Groundskeepers at this cemetery remove flowers left on the tombs as soon as they begin to wilt these, however, still show enough color to make us wonder if there was not still some life left in them. Another interpretation might be drawn: the blossoms that lie within this container might also be a metaphor for premature death.

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Phil Douglis22-Jul-2016 22:18
Thanks for these insights, Marisa. I agree -- this image can also suggest wasted aspects of life itself, discarded all too soon. On the other hand, it could also imply renewal -- the vibrant remaining blossoms can still bring pleasure to those willing and able to appreciate their value. Once again, you bring the idea of contradiction to bear on an image, a concept that often can play a role in metaphorical expression.
Marisa Taddia 21-Jul-2016 23:35
The fresh and colorful flowers perhaps symbolize those parts of our life that we throw away too soon, without giving the proper time to fullfill its deep transformation process.. maybe because of fear, ignorance, anger. But there is always the possibility that someone pass and collect the flowers that were discarded, enjoying the splendor they still have.
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