Churches & Cemeteries series 4

The Trinidad Aesthetic – Time and Decay

Over the the years thebookmann has been interested in the themes of time and decay. He has traveled all over Trinidad and Tobago amassing photographs from cemeteries. It has been solitary and grimy work. It has wrought personal views on life and death, but also on traditions and rituals. He has asked aloud many times, what is happening with the preservation of our monuments? I have been fortunate to travel with him to a few places and seen first hand the sort of work involved. It takes a keen eye to not just take images of tombs, but of the personality behind the architecture. He lets us see the love and care of the living, as some family members leave photographs, write the family name in paint, leave plastic flowers, candles and incense.

Our cemeteries are historical documents. We can see areas that once were restricted to families of the highest classes. Areas where the Jews fleeing Nazi Germany are buried, the many orders of priest and nuns, new names of families who have come up in the world in a generation or two side by side with those who have gone down or remained in stasis.- Adele

These photographs mark ten years since the idea of the Trinidad Aesthetic. It began with documenting churches and cemeteries such as the Anglican Trinity Cathedral, the Holy Rosary and Laperose cemetery in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. It has been an adventure in its self, and for example, at the time the mausoleum (centre) was photographed, howls and wailing sounds from the dilapidated crypt could be heard. thebookmann and Adele were not going to further investigate the source, we just wanted to leave as quickly as possible, until a large man unearthed himself from it. But to our horror, the same man, much later entered a food court in Port of Spain and calmly ordered a meal and drink, needless to say, we have never ventured back to the eatery since. How Trinidad Aesthetic



Churches & Cemeteries series 2

If I pray to you and only you, does it matter where?

Tortuga Anglican, Roman Catholic, Roman Catholic Arima

Just at the crest of the Montserrat hills in Gran Couva, Trinidad and Tobago, two churches sit side by side. The Tortuga Roman Catholic Church is one of the oldest structures in Trinidad and Tobago, and at the time these photographs were taken, the building was being restored. But further down the road, the Tortuga Anglican church were not as lucky, the dilapidated building housed a simple altar and an open but sparse space for its congregation.


Before its restoration, the Tortuga Roman Catholic Church had a charm of its own. There were an array of unusual statues and shrines. One in particular was a small black doll called, Lady of Montserrat hidden from view in a cove. The church also felt Caribbean with its high and open windows. The pews sagged, the floors boards were worn, the wood shingles on the roof were unaligned, and the stained glass panels were not in place, but rather the empty opened arches behind the altar.

Things are quite different today, the church is restored, freshly painted and the French stained glass panels are in place, but the charm has disappeared.

Churches & Cemeteries series 3

Hallways, Wooden archways, Roofs and Statuette Saints

The series of Double Exposures continues and these are photographs of the interior of thepost. The Rangefinder, as one reader hints is that of a Leica, but rather it is a 1958 Konica, yet the optics on both cameras are considered comparable. The double exposures were a result of not advancing the lever completely to advance a full frame, it uses a double-stroke film advance. Roman Catholic church from the previous


Churches & Cemeteries series 4

Church bells, wooden Christ, stain windows, graveyard monument

These four frames were captured on a film during a visit to public cemetery, and a Roman Catholic and Anglican church, all situated in Arima, Trinidad and Tobago. The photographs were taken In 2004 with a vintage rangefinder camera in which the film was accidentally double exposed.




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