~ The Art Of Change ~ with Carol Omer ~

Art and Creativity as Mediums for Empowerment , Connection and Change…

Archive for the ‘Adelaide architecture’ Category

Your licence is about to expire…

Posted by carolom on November 4, 2015

Your licence is about to expire…

Nestled in between two busy main roads
that were once dirt tracks winding between churches
and blue stone cottages
Rickety roads where horses kicked up dust
and the creaking milk cart was a welcome sound

Sits the Old Road Cemetery

IMG_1985A large impeccably kept burial ground
with rows and rows of gravestones
that depict a life narrative in one line
Many of the stories begin and end with
a death over a hundred years ago

Google –which is a word that had not emerged from the ether
when those original shovels tossed dirt
upon the first of many hundreds of coffins
will tell you that Daisy Bates
who set up camp with Aboriginal people

and wrote about her version of them is
in the Old Road Cemetery

Edmund Wright that renowned architect
and former Lord Mayor of Adelaide
and Edward Charles Stirling,
the first person in Australasia
to introduce a bill for women’s suffrage
are resting in eternal peace under the guardianship
of angels that fly motionlessly
whilst peak hour traffic speeds slowly by

IMG_1990Thousands of people are laid to rest
at this tranquil cemetery where the expired flowers
of the old Jacaranda trees
transform into purple snow in December
and cover bleached white headstones and red rusted railings

Young Eliza May who passed away in 1907
was only fifteen years old
her sister Lilly who barely saw life past one year
had died before her in 1895
Such a sad family story written in black letters on
pristine stone that has carried their tragedy for 120 years
Some of the letters bleed black dye
as if the headstone weeps in their honour

Bereaved mothers and inconsolable lovers
Families bound by sorrow
Friends who farewelled the young man who
died by his own hand
have all walked upon this ground

Many of them are now also buried and interned
inside of ornate coffins that cocoon them
into the tranquillity of Mother Earth

Others have become ashes tossed to the earth,
the waters
the wind
and the fires

I often walk through this cemetery with wonder
This story book of happenstance and tragedy,
with tablet headstones
bursting with lines of anguished poetry
and philosophical levity

It was at the start of my short-cut walk
through the Old Road Cemetery that something very
unusual caught my eye
At the entrance, attached to the notice board where
funeral notices and Old Souls day events
are announced
was an eye-catching, attention seeking poster
of headstones covered in thick black plastic.

They headstones looked like besieged hostages
hapless victims of torture and oppression
This puzzling somewhat disturbing site
required stopping,
getting out the reading glasses
and peering at the small writing to fully grasp
exactly what was going on

Warning sign

A heavy handed caution
reminiscent of the grim reaper ads
that prophesised impending doom back
when the Aids virus was new and we were ignorant
was written under the plastic covered headstone
Don’t let this happen to you!

It seems that in some cemeteries but not this one…yet
graves that have not had their licence renewed were being shut down!

This was confirmed as I walked through the old section and saw
rows and rows of aging graves with yellow notices stuck to the stone
Daisy May and Lilly’s graves that appeared undisturbed since 1905
now had a yellow parking ticket that said:

“The licence to this plot has expired
Please contact the Old Road Cemetery Office for renewal options
(email and telephone number provided)

IMG_1975Needless to say
I felt a wave of dismay
I have never seen flowers of remembrance
upon Daisy May and Lilly’s grave

I strolled past the resting place of George and Jack
side by side in their father and son burial plot
their sad story embossed ornately in stone in 1897
On the bottom of the headstone a simply written
statement of unwavering faith
Reunited with Grandmother in Heaven

 

 

Further down the row James and Emily Jones’s husband and wife plot

eerily reminiscent of a perfectly made cement double bed

Long forgotten and undisturbed
had also been tagged by the uncompromising slip of yellow paper
that cautioned non existent relatives
and summoned families who no longer walk upon this earth

Salutations and blessings penned by grieving family and friends
overshadowed by slips of yellow paper
announcing the grave site is now in the first stages of
negotiation and relocation

IMG_1992Old Road Cemetery has been targeted
by visual and confronting imagery
plucked from the information highway
I wonder what will become of Eliza May and Lilly
all those old, unattended graves
and the army of flightless angels who guard them?

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Posted in Adelaide, Adelaide architecture, Stories | 1 Comment »

Light, Shapes & Changing City~Scapes…

Posted by carolom on August 11, 2010

The City West Campus of Adelaide University is built over, around and amongst some of Adelaide’s oldest buildings.

At a certain time of the day, from the third floor of the Bob Hawke Centre the late afternoon sun casts a glow and a shadow over two very contrasting displays of Adelaide architecture.

I just happened to be there as the light began to change…


Posted in Adelaide, Adelaide architecture, City West Campus, Late afternoon sun, North Terrace, Old and new buildings | Leave a Comment »