Most of the photographs presented here, mainly from local early cemeteries, represent some of the beautiful ways in which nature reclaims man-made objects, as well as some of the ways in which nature reclaims itself.
The endless variations of imagery and iconography found on cemetery gravestones and architecture have long fascinated me. Originally intended to be permanent memorials to those persons whose bodies lay in the graves below, these markers, after years of exposure, have themselves begun to molder. What is above ground now echoes what lies below. Cemeteries are also spaces where I can be hidden from prying eyes and become completely lost in my work.
Mid-nineteenth-century photography, such as the daguerreotype, ambrotype, and albumen print, informs the way I see the world and the way I produce my images. Because of the long exposure times required by equipment of the period, nineteenth-century photographs, whether of people or inanimate objects, have a mysterious stillness that I also find in cemeteries. I try to capture this stillness in a frontal approach to my subjects and in subtle manipulation of monochromatic tones.
All images were shot in the Portland, Maine, area on 120 film with either a Holga 120N, Agfa Isola II, Yashica Mat 124, Mamiya 645, or Pentax 645.
My work has been selected for the Maine Photography Show, I’ve exhibited at Portland Photo Works and Falmouth Public Library, and many private collectors own examples of my work. Most recently, my three portfolios of photographs of Evergreen Cemetery have been acquired by Maine Historical Society for inclusion in their permanent collection.
View more work at instagram.com/crumbling.beauty
Frank Poole, Portland, Maine