Canal Street Cemetery

New Orleans

....a beginning of a process at the end of a journey

All the photographs and texts are copyrighted by Bill Mattick

5/14/2000........seems like light years since these events unfolded, but I have by necessity been in the moment most of the time since than, licking my psychic wounds, so time passes slowly.........a new lady in my life.....she is gentle, beautiful, sexy, .......she energizes is scary and exhilarating all at once.........I don't have a sense of the relationship's dimension but it is a breath of fresh going well.....and this for the website........ cemetery work....... 1997, my wife Tina and I flew to the southeast for what would be our last vacation together. She and I ended our 24 year relationship in July of 1999 and I have spent the last months evolving through a maze of emotional and psychological turmoil, reevaluation, growth, adventure, magic ......these ragged images from the New Orleans cemeteries are emblematic of this journey. I suppose I was fleetingly aware of things to come as we flew south in the fall of 97. She had expressed to me in her own closeted, tentative manner that things were changing.....I chose for the most part to ignore what she was saying, my denial mechanism still active and in auto/pilot mode.

It is within this context that I entered into the process of photographing the New Orleans cemeteries at the end of Canal St. While I seem to have relied on the same photographic vernacular that I have used for years, there is for me in this work a subtext of impending loss and grief, certainly in retrospect. But it seems to me that at the time these places resonated with an unusual sense of personal loss. My mother was gone, my father was ill and unrelenting in his expression of grief and I felt like time and circumstance was closing in on me.......once again I turned to picture making as an act which might legitimize and give some order to the chaos. As it turns out, in these pictures it is not so much my pursuit of cultural iconography which seems to be the purpose of the forms I have created but rather photographic information that represents by it's description of the place, a beginning of a process at the end of a journey. all the best BILL MATTICK

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