Kensal Green Cemetery was established 1832 as London’s answer to Pere LaChaise cemetery in Paris. Over the years, it became a final resting place for London’s wealthy and famous, who wanted to be buried in the well-planned and beautiful cemetery. Over the years, Kensal Green has become a tangled, overgrown and atmospheric jumble of stone, trees, overgrowth and mystery. It is still in constant use as a cemetery and crematorium for today’s Londoners.
I’ve visited Kensal Green several times over the last twenty-five or thirty years and it’s never failed to capture my imagination and inspire my photography. It’s impossible not to be overwhelmed by the sadness and grief on display– witness the countless grieving angels. But it’s also a celebration of lives lived to their fullest, such as the young father who died in 2000 but left his children with some inspiring words:
“My son, my daughters, you have amazed me with your minds. You will have no limits to what you want from life. Whenever you want help, I will be there. By the way, enjoy food. It’s wonderful!”