Earlier this year, I finally got round to finishing my tour around London’s seven private Victorian cemeteries.
They were established over a decade, starting with Kensal Green in 1832 and culminating in Tower Hamlets in 1841. Before then, most of London’s dead were buried in overcrowded church yards, causing a massive health problem as corpses were piled one on top of another, leaking into the water system.
George Frederick Carden (1798- 1874) was an English barrister, magazine editor and businessman, and was credited with the development of these ‘garden cemeteries’ after visiting Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris (which is the place that first got me interested in the subject).
Being run as profit making concerns, they ran into a problem – People paid a one-off burial fee and the company was left with the costs of upkeep. Eventually they went bankrupt, the local councils were given them and they were neglected and largely ignored.
Around the 1960s, people began to appreciate the picturesque decay and although they are all still used as cemeteries, they have become tourist attractions.
1 Kensal Green Cemetery, 1832
2 Kensal Green Cemetery, 1832
3 West Norwood Cemetery, 1836
4 West Norwood Cemetery, 1836
5 Highgate Cemetery, 1839
6 Highgate Cemetery, 1839
7 Abney Park Cemetery, 1840
8 Abney Park Cemetery, 1840
9 Nunhead Cemetery, 1840
10 Nunhead Cemetery, 1840
11 Brompton Cemetery, 1840
12 Brompton Cemetery, 1840
13 Tower Hamlets Cemetery, 1841
14 Tower Hamlets Cemetery, 1841
Visiting Pere Lachaise was one of the main sources of photos for my exhibition ‘Memento Mori’, which was shown at Salford Museum and Art Gallery in 2007 to mark the 150th anniversary of Salford’s municipal cemeteries.
“The image of Manchester has been accurately represented visually over the years by the likes of local stalwarts Samuel Coulthurst or Kevin Cummins. In times of political and social flux, a rather more acerbic, satirical identity has been required, and Photographer David Dunnico is one of the people to have picked up that baton”.
As well as showing photos of (closed) public toilets and statues with cones on their heads, you’ll have a vision of a project called ‘In God We Trust’ and a sneak peek of my next exhibition, which is about the Union Jack. It’ll be held next year just in time for Brexit – and if you voted Leave, you’re probably not going to like it and probably won’t get the jokes).
Not only that, but I’ll show you round Mark Page’s Sodley-on-Sea – his imaginary seaside town, which he builds from images nicked off the internet, builds as dioramas, photographs and then destroys.
Anyway, to get you in the mood, you can read what I wrote a few years ago about the Manchester ‘Shopping Riots’ for ‘Now Then Manchester’ magazine…
Stockport War Memorial Art Gallery Open Exhibition 2018
I’m happy to have a picture in Stockport War Memorial Art Gallery’s Open Exhibition which is on until 6 September. The picture is called ‘Iconoclastic’. The decaying portrait bust of Lenin was outside what had become a casino in Prague, capital of the Czech Republic, in 2004. The background of the flag was created in PhotoShop. I suppose getting a picture in Stockport makes it my hat-trick in this year’s round of open art exhibitions, after Sale Waterside and Salford Museum and Art Gallery.
I’m very pleased to have two photographs in the first ever Salford Museum and Art Gallery Open Exhibition, which runs until Sunday 11 November 2018, which is an appropriate date, being the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War and one of my pictures being of the Cenotaph.
American Anarchist Emma Goldman was credited with saying: “If voting changed anything they would make it illegal”.
For 100 years, since the Representation of the People Act gave most men and some women the right to vote, people have been questioning if having the vote is the same as having political power. Today, with globalisation, people are asking how much power national governments really have.
But the surprising result of the Brexit vote in the UK, and the unexpected election of Trump in the USA, mean relatively small numbers of votes may have changed everything.