A Playground; A Graveyard (Gabrielle Lund’s Photo Essay)

“A Playground; A Graveyard” explores the ruins of my grandmother’s backyard which once was my sister and I’s imaginative realm for play. After my grandfather’s death in 2004, my grandmother could no longer deal with the upkeep of having a duck pond, a shed full of four wheelers, a garden, and minnow traps by herself, so she let the nature take over.

The following pictures explore the effects. A swing covered by ivy, a tree split down the middle until it lays caddy-corner in a shadow; a duck pond overgrown, with the phantom traces of laughter and smiles along its fence boundary as portrayed by a picture of two smiling young girls. Memories, and hauntings lie as exhibitions to the fact that where you are buried is not the only place where you have presence.

In “pictorial photography”, Steiglitz says that an amateur photographer “is one who works for love”. These are the pictures of a past that still lives on almost eleven years later. This is the aftermath of my grandfather’s greatest joy that he tended to daily during his life. The overgrowth stands as a monument to the man it lost. The rising sun that cast its shadow is reminder that life goes on, even when there is no one there to care for it.

Is laughter still evident in the sinking earth and bramble bushes? Do children play in graveyards or is each playground a future cemetery? These pictures explore a life that goes on after death and how it is possible to grow in the rough.
As one surveys the overlaying image, think about the physical effects some type of loss has had in your life. Think about things that have become overgrown or unkempt. Can we still find joy in the memories or are they just a façade for deterioration that no one knows how handle? Are smiles still possible in mother nature’s clutches?


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