Sunday, 15 May 2011

Botany Cemetery - Grave adornments


Having long been a 'graveyard tragic', this week provided an opportunity to explore yet another cemeteryy, this time Botany Cemetery on the shores of Botany Bay, otherwise marketed as Eastern Suburbs Memorial Park. It is both burial ground and crematorium, with the first burial in 1893. It does contain a heritage section, but all these graves have been removed to Botany from inner city burial grounds destined for 're-use'.


Except for the first one, these grave adornments are usually ceramic or porcelain. Artificial flowers like this were much used in each of the Parisian cemeteries that I visited last month: Pere LaChaise, Montparnesse, Montmatre and Passy. The use of REAL flowers in and around graves in Australia is nowhere near as frequent as in the Parisian cemeteries. In comparison, our cemeteries here in Sydney are uptight - well kempt and regular, sprawling laterally rather than vertically.


The first image in this post is a 'bandaged bear' used by hospitals to raise funds which appears to have been deposited by some sort of 40 day flood.

13 comments:

Tash said...

Oh, the sadness of the lost "me to you"... tempered by the cute face.
I like the creamic flowers, I have not seen that before...an great improvement over plastic.

Genie -- Paris and Beyond said...

Julie, as per usual your photos are exquisite and I understand your interest in the cemeteries. While in Buenos Aires I was spellbound by Recoletto and in Punta Arenes, Chile saw for the first time an abundance of the porcelain flowers. In that climate, it did seem a perfect choice. Show us more, mon amie.

PerthDailyPhoto said...

Hi Julie,
You have inspired me with your photos this morning, my Mum and Dad have their plaques at our cemetery 'Pinnaroo', it is beautiful there with many kangaroos about in the early morning and evening, we have silk flowers there that we refresh, but I think I will look out for a beautiful ceramic rose for my Mum and sweet pea for Dad (though that might be tricky).
Take care Julie,
Grace

Julie said...

They are beautiful, though very old fashioned. There is a little phial that can be attached to the plaque in a crematorium wall and they often contain silk or ceramic flowers. One is about all that will fit. My father was a life-long grower of sweet-peas always planting his seeds a few days either side of St Patrick's Day. They might be a bit tricky to fashion ceramically, but anything is possible if one throws enough money at it.

Vicki said...

Sad yet beautiful. The teddy bear is particularly poignant.

Mark said...

I am also a cemetery tragic. I was lucky to visit both Montparnasse and Pere Lachaise last month. My favourite grave was Chopin.

Bob Crowe said...

The bear reminds me of special grave markers in Japan for deceased children, called gizu. They are often covered with small toys, as well as children's drinks, snacks and sometimes articles of the child's clothing. The emotion can be overwhelming.

Julie said...

Yes, I suspect that to be the case, Bob. Up where my mother is buried in Wauchope Cemetery, there were upon one visit, two graves for children overwhelmingly covered by flowers and soft toys.

Alan O'Riordan said...

I agree, the teddy photo is very poignant. Lovely images, as are the views on your previous post, Julie.

uncertainhorizon said...

There is something haunting about these images, and it isn't just where they were taken... they would be haunting either way.

J Bar said...

These are quite interesting.

diane b said...

A Teddy in a cemetery makes me sad. I think ceramic flowers are a good idea. Fresh one die and then look miserable if not removed. Plastic ones get tatty.

Jilly said...

I just wish, one day, you and I could wander the cemeteries of the world (preferably whilst we are still living), taking photographs, dear Julie. These are superb and the bear is particularly poignant.