Photos from the City of Edmonton Cemeteries Artist Residency


by Candace Makowichuk

The medium I work in is historical photographic processes including: Cyanotype, Bromoil, Gum Bichromate, Liquid Emulsions and Silver Gelatin. My art is made by patience and quiet observations, using primarily a historic bellows sheet film camera, and 19th century printing processes. In our digital age of rapid fire cameras and gigabytes, I believe my methodology and approach projects my contemporary vision forward, while at the same time celebrating the roots of photography in its purest form.

These pieces are from a larger body of work that I produced during my residency with City of Edmonton Cemeteries. More than just a burial plot for a loved one, cemeteries provide a place of beauty to inspire the living. I want to showcase the beauty of these iconic places that are designed to blunt death’s sorrow. With my excursions throughout cemeteries, I find it impossible to not feel a personal connection to those that died, to be pulled to certain headstones – relating personally to a year, a name, a child – what

was their life like? What story would they have to tell? My experiences and other people’s experiences within cemeteries are poignant. I feel that cemeteries and burial grounds are built to achieve a triumph over the gloom of death. To make it a garden where people can stop thinking of death as gloomy and see in it the possibility of rebirth and beauty. From the landscaping, the trees, the paths and the decorative work of monuments and grave markers, cemeteries are places of comfort, connections and history. It is humbling that in all our diversity, death is one of the commonalities we all share.


Image credits:

Top left – Angel, Cyanotype on Paper, 2017 and Two Roses & Cross, Cyanotype on Paper, 2017

Top right – Spring at Beechmount, Bromoil, 2017

Middle left – Foggy Morning, Liquid Emulsion on Paper, 2018

Middle right – Snowstorm, Bromoil on Liquid Emulsion on Paper, 2018 and Sleeping Angel, Bromoil, 2018

Bottom left – Bronze Angel, Bromoil, 2018

Bottom right – Lamb, Cyanotype on Paper, 2017