Art defies death

December 30, 2007



Photos by Rende Zoutewelle

Last year a young farmer was pumping up a tractor tire and it exploded in his face, killing him instantly.

He left a wife and young children, and a village in shock.

Yesterday, I passed his grave, which had until now been marked by a simple wooden sign and drawings from his children, and it had been transformed. (See photo)

This grave simply shouts out, ‘We defy death’.  Instead of a heavy, traditional stone marker, metal has been sculpted into a simple celebration of life, his life and the continuing life of his family.  The marker is rich with symbolism linked to the farmer’s birthplace, and the ring of vitally alive, dancing  people in a circle are his family and dear ones, each named.

Art has been put into service here to defy death, to heal, to celebrate life!

5 Responses to “Art defies death”

  1. What a beautiful, vivid way to remember a human being.

  2. Hi Alison,
    One day I looked out the window and saw a strange procession in the distance, it looked like some kind of little parade, with children in costumes, and all kinds of bright colors. Then I saw the coffin.

    It was the funeral procession of this farmer, all his his friends,family,his wife,and his three young kids.

    I can’t imagine having the resilience to respond to such a shocking death with this kind of gesture. I am still in awe of how they are dealing with this tragedy.
    I’m thinking, I would have liked to know this guy.

  3. madsilence Says:

    I’ve noted the proliferation of roadside and sidewalk memorials in the U.S. over the past few decades. These hand-crafted memorials, made of photos, stuffed animals, hand-lettered signs, candles and religious symbols, speak to our need for consolation and healing. Mourning is no longer a private sorrow, but a shared public emotion seeking solace.

  4. m Says:

    Just popping in to give Hogmanay Greetings from Scotland!

    all the best


  5. szoutewelle Says:

    replying to madsilence,
    thanks for your thoughts. I think these roadside memorials are great, and are a good example of folk art.

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