Sunday 8 July 2012

The Dying Angels: Broken Figures in Earlham Cemetery

Walking around Norwich's Victorian Earlham Cemetery. This Eastern, older section, much wilder, is effectively left to its own devices by the council: groundskeeping work is kept at a minimum to encourage wildlife in the area. As I wandered, I kept noticing the decaying graveside figures - mostly angels, occasionally children, with heads, wings, limbs broken off at some point over the years. These graves were all of children who died sometime between 1918 and the late 1930s. The decyaing of gravestones - edges of statues breaking off, as here, or the more usual weathering into an indecipherable smudge - seems almost a second, gentler death, a softer reminder of the inevitability of the erosion of all things - life, flesh, stone.