Highgate Cemetery is a fascinating cemetery, perhaps the most famous of London’s “Magnificent Seven Cemeteries”, which were built during the 19th Century, to relieve the over crowding of many parish burial grounds. Many of it’s inhabitants, real characters drawn from throughout history, were larger than life, and in a sense so are it’s angels.
My imagination drew me toward a kind of halfway world, beyond the objective, and into one immersed in storytelling; a narrative where these angels live, breathe life and meaning as they act as guides through the transcendation process. Yet I felt their presence was varied and at times, of cross purpose, somewhat ambiguously, with their divine heavenly calling. Some were pensive, contemplative, almost sad and forlorn, while others stood defiant and protective. Angels that “crossed” over from the ethereal embodiment of all things heavenly , blended and transformed into whimsical almost theatrical caricature. I came to conclude, that like the world that was left behind, they each had identities and a story to tell.
The Photographic Process
These photographs were originally shot using a mixture of black & white traditional negative film, and digital captures. They began as monochromatic images or were converted to Black & White, as a start point. Post-processing involved treatments including luminance adjustments, hand-colouring, using specific colour palettes.
Through the application of colours and light with atmospheric enhancement, each angel has emerged re-imagined claiming an identity, that once existed, briefly only in my mind, and other’s before me, but now takes centre stage in their own narrative.