Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Emotion in Stone

Monumental masons are artists who are underappreciated in our society, probably because sculpture as an artform is associated with the past, and statues tend to be survivors of ages long ago. But a stroll through almost any major cemetery will reveal examples of magnificent work which captures the emotional essence of grieving and commemoration, rendered by hands long forgotten when their work survives. This particular piece is a family tomb at Main North Road Anglican Cemetery, at Prospect, north of Adelaide, just one of many in this cemetery, but a standout for the fact it represents a human-natural form rather than an angelic being, and the pathos of the individual comes clearly from the stone. She is seated under a four-pillar Classical stone canopy, and is at least 50% above lifesize. The play of light and shade is engaging and a clear Australian sky evokes the Mediterranean whose past is its thematic inspiration. The photograph was simply framed and taken, and column edges were cropped out for publication, along with enhancements to sharpness and colour. February, 2009; Fuji FinePix S5600, automatic. Image by Mike.

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