Glass Cremation Urns, Paperweights and Memorial Jewelry

Remember Through Art

God of Death Charon

David Blake

Deity's of Death (Charon, Angel of Death, Yama) figure prominently in the belief structure of many cultures.  Charon, of Greek mythology, is no exception.  Featured in many stories of the time, and more broadly across Western Culture, Charon appears in paintings and murals across time.

As depicted by Alexander Litovchenko

As depicted by Alexander Litovchenko

Oft found on Attic Funerary vases of the 5th and 4th century BC, Charon is most commonly depicted as a boat oarsman who transports the dead across the river of the dead for payment of a gold coin.  For this reason, many Greeks were buried with a gold coin in their mouth for payment of passage.

A famous poem, attributed to the Roman Poet Virgil, describes Charon manning his skiff during the descent of Aeneas to the underworld.

There Chairon stands, who rules the dreary coast -
A sordid god: down from his hairy chin

A length of beard descends, uncombed, unclean;
His eyes, like hollow furnaces on fire;

A girdle, foul with grease, binds his obscene attire

Black Death's Dance of Death

paintings, artformDavid Blake

Art can take many forms; be it a pastel painting to expressive dance.  Major trauma's of events of the day can lead to intersections of art forms as they undergo major changes to deal with the events at hand.  The 'Dance of Death', otherwise known as 'Danse Macabre' is an artistic genre directly attributed to the ravages of The Black Death in Medieval Europe. 

Often represented by figures with a short dialog with death underwriting the painting; it depicts death being part of every day events much like an unwanted stranger stopping you in the road to talk with you, then whisk you away into the underworld.

Tau Tau's

David Blake

Different cultures naturally have different ways to deal with the mourning process.  The Toraja's of central Sulawesi Indonesia have a particularly involved and lengthy mourning process that lasts from weeks to months depending on the stature of the deceased.  Feasting, ritual sacrifice of animals and music highlight the Funeral rites, of which more can be read here

For the purposes of this blog, we focus on the practice of creating wooden effigies of the deceased and placing them along carved insets in cliffs and/or in common day poses.  A truly interesting and artistic way to express the though the dead are still part of the living world (at least for a little bit.)

Highgate Cemetery, London

cemeteryDavid Blake

If you've been to London chances are you visited, or at least considered visiting, the Highgate Cemetery.  Home to 57,000 souls, this Victorian Cemetery has an eerie 'nature-took-over' feel to it.  With stained marble buildings, forest garbed gravestones and the occasional bulldog it's a famous example of what is possible with graveyards aesthetically.