Clementine Douglas Cummer and Susan Lavina Nacco
Fortitude and Despair


Lenticular photographs


Artists' Statement
Given the opportunity to return to Forest Hills Cemetery, we chose the Greenwood Avenue bridge as our site. The classic elegance and beauty of its stone architecture appealed to us and the empty niches called out for attention. Aside from the fact that these niches are too shallow to hold anything truly three-dimensional, they represent the kind of place where figurative sculpture would typically be installed. A life-size figurative lenticular photograph seemed the perfect solution: technically two dimensional but with a somewhat 3-D effect.

The poses of the figure in our images are inspired by the beautiful figurative memorial statuary throughout Forest Hills Cemetery, particularly the statues of female angels. Even as we were drawn to those dramatic sculptures, we were struck by their highly romantic portrayal of death and grief. We responded to this romanticism by going a little over the top with our own stylized portraits of female figures of “Fortitude” and “Despair.” Our images are both heartfelt and a little campy. We enjoyed the contradiction of using a very contemporary, even commercial, technology to create a romantic and stylized memorial to sincere emotional responses to loss.

For Spirits in the Trees, we used small white stones to mark the shadows of a pair of trees as a way to memorialize a fleeting natural event. Our project for ReVisited grew from an interest in how art within the cemetery, specifically figurative sculpture, depicts and memorializes feelings related to death. With these lenticular photographs we offer a 21st century interpretation of the traditional Victorian memorial sculptures in Forest Hills Cemetery.


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