Friday, 24 April 2015

Graveyard Tales

I grew up an only child, which meant alot of playing by myself and taking refuge in my imagination. One of my favourite things to do to amuse myself were invent worlds. I grew up in a village called Illogan in Cornwall (Some of you Poldark fans out there might realise that yes! that's Demelza's home village too! :P ( Weirdly, my road was even called Poldark Road!)) There is a beautiful graveyard in the Churchtown at the heart of the village where I spent alot of time playing when I was supposed to be visiting my mum. The thing that I loved about the Graveyard was that it was so peaceful, I could have it all to myself. There were so many little pathways to explore, creatures to befriend, tall leafy trees fat with apples to climb and dark and dangerous parts wild with brambles and blackberries that fueled my imagination with ghouls and witches. I would pretend that I lived in the graveyard, that I had been forgotten and left there, or that I was a ghost that haunted it. I grew up to be fascinated with the macabre and austere and a fan of Gothic literature. Not that I actually find graveyards dark and austere anymore, They are a sanctuary of peace, of rest and quietude. There's nothing chilling about the silence, it may be a garden of corpses but for me, it brings back memories of balmy summer afternoons snoozing under the apple tree and listening to the church clock tower chiming away the day. 




Bath has beautiful graveyards, and one right near our house overlooks the city from the top. Far different from our humble, pokey ones back home, these ones are grand, sprawling and impressive. Spring is nurturing the graveyard and the buds are decorating the trees reminding me of folk tales stories of spirits that bring the seasons. I've never truly appreciated spring until now. I'm not sure if it's because winter has never properly transitioned into spring or if I was just unforgivably unobservant in my life. Last year, winter clung onto us as far into May and for a moment I feared I'd go all summer without feeling the warm sun on my face. Summer had seemed so sudden in the past, hastily apologising for it's lateness in it's sheepish way that only British summer could, and determinedly making up for dastardly winters grim reign. This year, spring has eased in gradually and I've watched over the weeks with patience at the buds emerging and the tree's regrowing their leaves. I never thought about it until now, but in the past it had seemed that one minute the trees were skeletons, spidery and bare and suddenly POOF they were fully adorned in canopies of green. But this year, I've really watched the natural world around me and smiled as the little green budlings emerged from the branches and grow and seeing the tree's begin to fill themselves again after waking up from a sleepy winter. I feel like the infinite potential of summer adventure is spread out before me and I just have to battle through the next few deadlines before coming back to my beloved Kernow.
Did you know that when I was a little girl, my life ambition was to be a mermaid? I think it was my dad that started and encouraged my obsession with fairy tales when he took me to the woods to look for sprites and pixies or down the cove to spot mermaids. He'd crouch down and point out to the ocean and say "Sarah, look out there, did you see that Mermaid?" while little me desperately squinted at the horizon. We'd sit and look for Sea Serpents and find rocks covered in seaweed that looked like a mermaids bed and often we'd take night drives to the coast and have a supper picnic in the car. I've had an enchanting childhood, albeit an unusual one and I'm grateful for it and the strange little family I have, and the adoptive family that I've been welcomed into along the way *waves at the Sangers*.



Moody Sarah looks moody and aloof :P Oh dear. Jessica's project is ongoing and these are the last of my extremely short lived modelling career photographs for her look-book :P Needless to say, I don't think it's the career for me! I'm really looking forward to getting back behind the camera and photographing over the next few months once I'm released from my assignment deadlines.









Finding treasures on the path


You'll notice how my hair changes colour constantly. I never dye it (not since I made the grave mistake of dying it black and pink when I was 15 and emo!) Luckily, I don't need to ever to use dye because my hair constantly goes between titian, honey blonde, light shades of brown and dark gold depending on the weather and amount of sea salty water immersion that week. Sometimes, the sun gives me free highlights, because we're buddies the sun and I, and it's kind like that. ^.^









showing far too much leg. The squeamish better look away quickly!







Dress: ASOS  |  Crown: Handmade from Etsy 
Dip Dye Scarf: FatFace 



Call me strange, but I'd absolutely love to live in a cottage in a graveyard. There's a little barn/cottage in the graveyard in Illogan that I always saw as a ruin and was renovated a few years ago. I wanted it so much, for imagine the peace and quiet and inspiration one would get for storytelling. This house was covered in vines and if it wasn't for the satellite one could almost believe it was the type of mysterious dark cottage from a storybook. I think I've just given myself a story idea!





We climbed to the tippy top and looked at the view of the valley. fifteen years down the line, and I still haven't grown up from my aspirations of being a mermaid. Instead, I just immerse myself in the ocean and nature at every opportunity and feel deeply the connection I have with those things. For me, I've learned to understand what brings me deep joy and self assurance and I celebrate them. I understand who I am, and I'm okay with that person. There's values that I'll always aspire to; gentleness, compassion, strength, knowledge and bravery and those goals motivate me to always be a better person. There's chapters in our lives that we sometimes long to return to or we cling to with nostalgia, but it's okay that we can't, it wouldn't be a book if you just kept re-reading the same lines over and over.  Instead, we take the knowledge and experience that we've gleaned and we walk on in our journey with new friends, new skills and bigger communities. People change, places change and sometimes we change with them, or we don't but that doesn't mean that those things were lost. We hold the memories dear to us, and we use them for stories, for photographs and for paintings and sketchbooks. Some of my favourite sketchbooks to read are the beautiful works of Sabrina Ward Harrison and Tim Walker's excerpts, I cannot express how brilliant the concept of a sketchbook is (A working process I really learned to appreciate AFTER leaving the art school :P)





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19 comments

  1. I love these photos! There is something so midsummer nights dream-esq about them, like you expect to see a few fairies or pixies peeking out. Its amazing how a photo can make the world seem magical!

    www.butterflybecca.com

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    1. Thankyou Becca!

      I love all things inspired by surreality ^.^ photography is a great way to give some kind of reality to that world <3 xxx

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  2. These photos (and that cottage!!) are so SO gorgeous - I would seriously love to do a shoot with you! xx

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    1. Thanks Alex! :D and so we shall this summer ^.^ Definitely up for a collaboration shoot! :D xxx

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  3. I can't believe you're from Illogan - that's where I live! Haha :) I know exactly which graveyard you mean. Can't wait for you to finish uni so we can finally meet up :)
    PS Magical photos!
    X
    Http://thecornishlife.co.uk

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    1. Woah! that's crazy! :P Illogan is my home village and my family still live there (I tend to live with the boyf in St. Keverne when I go back to Cornwall these days but I'm in Illogan a lot!)
      That makes it pretty easy for a meet up when I come back in July! :D <3 xxx

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  4. Hello Sarah! What a beautiful post. I find grave yards peaceful and a touch melancholy but I enjoy walking through them. You.look very pretty and nymph-like in your simple white dress and flower crown. I hope that you are well. Did you see my unexpected Cath Kidston late birthday present? X

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    1. Thankyou Kezzie! :D I am indeed well ^_^ Totally inundated with Uni work and deadline madness all around me, but there's always time for a stroll and some art-out time :D

      I did see your lovely Ric Rack dress! i love it! :D I was so tempted to get it myself but I ended up settling on the river fish one instead ^.^ It's so vibrant and pretty the ric rack pattern ^.^ xxx

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  5. Very Clara Oswin pose in the 10th photo from the end x

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  6. There is a lot of poetry in your photos, they are truly beautiful!
    xx
    Jennifer | Pretty as Summer

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    1. Thankyou so much Jennifer :D <3 They were for my friend Jessica's Art Project ^.^ xxx

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  7. I'm absolutely enamored by your photos. The location, colors, your outfit--all of them are so ethereal. My favorite shots are the first two where you're sitting in the tree. The golden lighting is simply beautiful.

    I was an only child for about 7 years, but then my brother was born. I barely remember what it was like, but I definitely know it was different. I loved reading about your memories with your Dad.

    Wishing you a lovely Saturday!

    imperfect idealist

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    1. Thankyou for the lovely words Lily! :3 You're such a sweety ^.^
      The late afternoon and early evening are always the best times for shooting because of the golden light ^.^
      I'm yet to get up early enough to snap in the morning light :P

      A wonderful Saturday to you too! xxx

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  8. Love these pictures, so ethereal =]

    emyii90.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Thankyou Emy ^.^ They were part of one of my best friends art projects :D We came up with the idea of folktales/fairy theme set in a graveyard as they were simultaneously contrasting yet worked :)

      Sarah xxx

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  9. Such beautiful pictures and I'm glad its not just me who finds grave yards calming and full of inspiration. There was a beautiful secluded grave yard that was difficult to get to if you didn't know how in the town I grew up and I often went there to think things over. We have a few beautiful ones in Oxford as well which I have explored but I look forward to finding more. I love the folk tale fairy tale theme of the photo's too so pretty!

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  10. Thankyou Rachel :D
    Great minds evidently think alike ;) teehee xxx

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  11. these photos are so gorgeous and magical! x
    http://www.catchingdreamsblog.blogspot.co.uk

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  12. Pure magic, this place. And you. And your hair, because free highlights are the dream. ♥

    www.carlyandmoth.blogspot.com

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