December 8, 2013 … places of final repose

Catching up at last, my camera club newsletter has gone.

Owhiti urupa at Gracefield

An oasis of peace and stillness, surrounded by thundering trucks and the crash of steel and other industry

Life resumes at a less hectic pace.  Yesterday I raced out as the sky was darkening, and went to the Gracefield area. There I peered over the fence of the Owhiti urupa (cemetery). I am particularly intrigued by this cemetery, surrounded as it is by light industry.

What became of the people who lived here in earlier days? What was the Owhiti pa like? Did they fish in the Waiwhetu stream before it became the valley’s septic drain? Where are their descendants?


As a last resting place, it seems untouched by its ugly surrounds. Perhaps the tupuna dream of day when the area was unspoiled

Fuel tanks make uneasy neighbours for the tupuna (ancestors) who would scarcely recognise what has become of their home. I am aware that for Maori, the urupa is an especially tapu or sacred place, so I was careful to stay outside. These images are offered with the utmost respect, in memory of those who came before.

A small mountain of scrap steel

I look at these piles, recognise fragments of vehicles and wonder whose pride and joy has ended up here.

Moving on into the Seaview area, I came to a scrap metal merchant that I have visited before. Since it was Saturday, the gates were locked, but there was an aperture in the fence that was just big enough to slide the lens through.  The texture of the steel, and the rust colour continue to draw me back

Ready for crushing

Someone spent hours washing and polishing those cars in that past, took their families on holidays, or sat by the beach with a lover watching the sun set

There was also a pile of vehicles awaiting their turn for the crusher and they have a texture of their own.

Up to date now, no more excuses!


About wysiwygpurple

I am a family man, a passionate amateur photographer and a retired academic . What's the purpose of this blog? Well in the first instance it provides me with a platform from which to resume writing, an activity I greatly enjoy. What will the blog be about? Anything that takes my fancy but it is likely to arise from things I see and experience, in my family, in my travels, or anything else I feel like. Each daily post will contain one or more images made the previous day. Sometimes the image will illustrate the points made in the prose, and sometimes the prose will attempt to interpret the image. What kind of images will they be? Always safe for work and family. Usually they will be representational, and sometimes they will be impressionistic or experimental.
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