An Artist Photographs the Visual Witness of Grave Images

‭I have always been drawn to the wildness and beauty of the rural cemeteries in Southern Colorado where I grew up. Widowed at a young age, I decided to photograph all of the cemeteries in the San Luis Valley—burial plots, private and public, Pentecostal, Penitente, Protestant, and Catholic—to explai...

Full description

Saved in:
Bibliographic Details
Published in:Religion and the arts
Main Author: Hettinga, Kathy T.
Format: Electronic Article
Language:English
Check availability: HBZ Gateway
Journals Online & Print:
Drawer...
Published: 2014
In:Religion and the arts
Year: 2014, Volume: 18, Issue: 1/2, Pages: 184-221
Further subjects:B grave images cemeteries San Luis Valley folk art religious life photography Holy Week
Online Access: Volltext (Verlag)
Description
Summary:‭I have always been drawn to the wildness and beauty of the rural cemeteries in Southern Colorado where I grew up. Widowed at a young age, I decided to photograph all of the cemeteries in the San Luis Valley—burial plots, private and public, Pentecostal, Penitente, Protestant, and Catholic—to explain to myself and to others the mysteries of death, and faithful hope. I found a shared sorrow in the grave images in the cemeteries, and I was comforted. I then sought to offer comfort to others through my art—photographs, digital prints, and artist’s books. This article describes my experiences of the grave markers. I have coined the term “grave images,” at the heart of which is a simplicity that creates a powerful expressive form that carries the Holy. The grave artisans of the San Luis Valley in their myriad approaches—in sandstone carving, in concrete forming, in their alchemy of transforming ordinary materials into extraordinary ones—show their adept ability to visualize and transmit the Divine into material form. The mountain desert cemeteries are a sacred space filled with objects that reflect Divine realities and remind us of what lies beyond our prosaic life in this physical world.‬
ISSN:1568-5292
Contains:In: Religion and the arts
Persistent identifiers:DOI: 10.1163/15685292-01801010