camperdown cemetery. sydney, australia.
hello! it’s been a long time since i’ve updated my blog. this is my first post of 2013, and i am now living in sydney, australia - specifically in the suburb of newtown, which is overflowing with graffiti, street art, peeling posters and handmade signs. however, the first time i felt truly compelled to pull out the camera (iphone, rather) was today at the camperdown cemetery, one of sydney’s oldest cemeteries. the juxtaposition of the tombstones (some almost 200 years old) and the graffiti was quite thought-provoking, as i changed my point of view numerous times throughout my meandering stroll. at first, i made the pretty obvious observation of the sacred (easy to do when the inscription of most tombs begin with ‘in sacred memory of…’) and the profane (easy to do when so much of the graffiti is, well, profane).
but is it that simple?
if (when) the graffiti is 200 years old - wouldn’t we regard it as more sacred than profane? less arcane, crew-specific eyesore, and more historical record?
but then again - the graffiti is dishonoring the memory those buried there…or at least disrupting the visual peace of those who go there to remember them, isn’t it?punctuating the equilibrium of the fluid browns and greens, stone and trees, that make up the space.
but then again - we can’t know if the people who left the graffiti intended to be disrespectful. i like to imagine that they’re teenagers…challenging themselves to be in a graveyard at night…leaving their own marks on the world, and somehow, whether they can name it or not, feeling grateful to be alive - walking out of the cemetery feeling bolder, stronger, braver…perhaps i am ascribing too much thoughtfulness to the average teenager with a can of spray paint.