Thursday, October 28, 2010

Timely Photography Lecture

Last evening I attended a lecture by photographer Pamela Williams.

I first came to know of her work at the Toronto City Hall outdoor art show, many, many years ago. I was drawn, as we share an appreciation for sculpture, and in particular cemetery sculpture. On a dark blustery Halloween-week night, in a darkened intimate studio setting, Pamela took the group through the most amazing cemeteries she has photographed, and spoke about her experiences capturing this "dying" art form. It is still as elusive and expensive to have an angel carved from marble or cast in bronze as it was in the late nineteenth century, but it can, and is being done. In some cases, the photographs that Pamela has taken are used as the inspiration for the artist reproducing the work.

"In "Death Divine", "Last Kiss" and "In the Midst of Angels", Canadian photographer, Pamela Williams explores the cemeteries of France, Italy, Austria, as well as Prague, Budapest and Havana. Dramatic, black and white portraits of romantic, late nineteenth-century sculpture present an intimate view of figures from European graveyards and beyond."
A quote from Pamela's biography

Many of Williams' angels have graced the covers of novels I'm sure you're familiar with, Margaet Laurence's - "Stone Angel", and Timothy Finley's - "Dust to Dust" are but a few.

I'd say that Pamela Williams is a national treasure. She still uses film and the dark room to process her works. I'm going to try and figure out how to do a field trip with this amazing artist, it would be such an experience. In the meantime, if you ever have a chance to meet, or learn from her, she's a bit of an angel!

I do know that her framed works would be lovely Christmas pesents :)

Credits: Photography, Pamela Williams, Quote: Pamela Williams


  1. Thank you for sharing these beautiful, thought-provoking images. Robert Reid's quote is right on target. Do hope you can visit Rock Creek Cemetary in DC, full of Victorian funerary sculpture. See Wikipedia entry "Adams Memorial" (at the gravesite of Clover and Henry Adams). By Saint-Gaudens, the androgynous sculpture, aka "Grief", is formally known as "The Mystery of the Hereafter and The Peace of God that Passeth Understanding."


  2. Excellent review of an informative and inspiring event! I agree completely with you....a "national treasure" is right-on!