Monday, 23 April 2012

A different kind of Postmortem Photograph

As regular readers will know I am a rather obsessive collector of Vintage postmortem photographs of Children. In alot of peoples eyes they are strange items to desire and to spend so much money on, and I can't really explain my love for them, except maybe to speculate that they are some kind of attempt to face my own strong fear of death, which is prehaps the same reason they were originally made.

I feel I should put a warning here that the images futher down the page are very graphic and upsetting

I am interested to a certain extent in all forms of postmortem and mourning imagery, and while browsing recently I came across some particularly intense and strong images of death on a website dedicated to the tragic murder of a mother and her two children.
It was the case of Jeffrey MacDonald who, in 1979 brutally murdered his two daughters and pregnant wife, the details of the case were horrible, and difficult to read.
The crime scene and autopsy photographs of the little girls, however, completely captivated me in a way that only the beautiful victorian photographs have done so before. The death of any child, in any circumstance, anywhere, is a horrible thing that should never happen, but it does happen, every day, in every possible way, and for some reason these images give some kind of comfort at the same time as being horrifying.

It seems wrong to me in a way that I was so captivated by these horrific images, but I was and I think there is an incredible beauty about them, if only to serve as a way to mark an event so horrible most of us couldn't even conceive it, but i'd rather look these things in the eye than pretend they didn't happen.

Jeffrey MacDonald is serving 3 consecutive life sentences

"Suffer little Children to come unto me"

"Be still, my soul, when change and tears are past
all safe and blessed, we shall meet at last"

Monday, 16 April 2012

Little Shop of Horrors

I took a trip to Peterborough over the weekend to see some of my best friends and get a tattoo for Friday 13th, we went to Little Shop of Horrors and it was by far the coolest shop I've ever been in, full of wonderful, macabre artifacts and pictures. I had a Sacred heart tattoo and got some snaps of some of the amazing dead animals pickled in Alcohol dotted around the shop, two little birds were my favourite, I wanted to take them home!

This Squirrel was adorable, I just loved him

And the severed Cats head was a little more macabre but it was gorgeous

I'll be heading back there for more tattoos soon :) I can't wait to see more of Sams creations

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Departed Father (spirit photograph)

I've always been fascinated by Victorian Spirit Photographs, a type of Victorian trick photography where a deceased family member is superimposed as a 'spirit' into a family photograph. It really reflects the Victorian Mourning culture and their way of dealing with the high mortality rate at the time.
I think its rather beautiful to make an image to reinforce the belief that a dead loved one is still with you.
I made my own take on a spirit photograph using bits from my collection, depicting a family with their deceased father\husband

The face I used for the Father is a photograph of my Great Grandfather.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Monday, 2 April 2012

T. S. Eliot - Burnt Norton

I Just found this stunning reading of Burnt Norton by T.S. Eliot uploaded on soundcloud, such a beautiful and moving poem, read by the man himself, a real genius.

T. S. Eliot - Burnt Norton