I initially set out to document the mechanical
process of cremation but found my own mantra for the project in the 'The Devil's
in the details'. That is, little elements of the process became fascinating
and I found even the most mundane of objects in such an environment became
charged with significance and symbolism. Metaphors of death, symbolic suggestion
of religious belief, suggestion of an after-life, even the evidence of life
itself, in the most mundane items and even in the construction of the crematorium
The more obvious imagery can be found in the
photographs of the actual burning of the body. These were achieved through
the viewing aperture which is a small window of very thick glass. The intense
temperatures inside the chamber and the glass itself created a slight distortion,
this coupled with the speed and unpredictability of the flame movement and
no way of knowing how the body will 'sit' as the coffin burns away, made it
a challenging but extremely fascinating process with which to work.
clinical, grey surround of the crematorium and the drama of the reds and intensity
of the blacks in the cremation itself, create, for me, a fascinating and contradictory
One central aim of this project was to show
the unseen 'journey' that many of us take but obviously never experience and
through that journey to confront the viewer with the processes of death and
our own mortality.
Ultimately I have found through the care and
attention to every detail taken in the cremation process, a sense of the dignity
ascribed to the dead and through that a sense of our own humanity.
Photographer, Bristol Evening Post.
Staff Photographer, South Wales Evening Post.
Documentary Photography MA at University of Wales Newport.
The Space Between
(Group Show), Ffotogallery, Turner House, Penarth
Through the Lens,
Royal West of England Academy Open Photography Exhibition, Bristol