Dearly Departed : A Venice photo project

Someday the silver moon and I will go to dreamland
I will close my eyes and wake up there in dreamland
And Tell me who will put flowers on a flower’s grave?
Who will say a prayer?

Will I meet a China rose there in dreamland?
Or does love lie bleeding in dreamland?
Are these days forever and always?

And if we are to die tonight
Is there a moonlight up ahead?
And if we are to die tonight
Another rose will bloom

For a faded rose
Will I be the one that you save?
I love when it showers
But no one puts flowers
On a flower’s grave

As one rose blooms and another will die
It’s always been that way
I remember the showers
But no one puts flowers
On a flower’s grave

And if we are to die tonight
Is there a moonlight up ahead?
I remember the showers
But no one puts flowers
On a flower’s grave

Tom Waits Flower’s Grave

I love photographing in cemeteries, and it was planned that our workshop included a visit to the San Michele cemetery island just to the east of Venice, a short boat ride across from Fondamente Nuove. The island was designated a cemetery in 1807.

According to Wikipedia, ..”Bodies were carried to the island on special funeral gondolas, including Igor Stravinsky, Joseph Brodsky, Jean Schlumberger, Frederick Rolfe, Horatio Brown, Sergei Diaghilev, Ezra Pound, Luigi Nono, Franco Basaglia and Zoran Mušič. ” The cemetery is still in use today.

As an exercise for our workshop participants, everyone had to decide on a final project that must be executed during the 4 day trip, (including Andy and myself, as instructors.) This video became mine for the workshop trip. I was simply taken by the rows and rows of graves and tombstones, and how so many dead flowers, overturned vases and pots had been left in between the tombs. A week before we arrived, Venice was under over a foot of snow, frozen canals and I can imagine how serene and calm the cemetery must have looked in under a white blanket.

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