I’m interested in our relationships with material objects and how the rituals we perform with these objects help us cope. Driving around for years I’ve noticed crosses on sidewalks at the location where accidents take place. The more I saw them the more I wondered exactly why the loved ones of the victims set up memorials at the location of such tragedies. Is it because they believe that when the accident occurred was the moment the soul left the victim’s body? If so, was that more significant than the location of the actual body? Did they visit the memorial more than the grave? How did setting up a cross in such a public place help in their grieving process? Didn’t such a public reminder of the location of the death of their loved one upset them?
As somebody who has never lost somebody and dealt with death and wouldn’t grieve so publicly, I’m very interested in this. In the search for the answer to these questions and more, I’ve decided to photograph these memorials, do research, and talk to those who have set up those memorials and visit them.
When I started this project I intended to create a type of objective catalog of roadside memorials accompanied by portraits and images of notes from interviews. As the project has evolved I've found more individuals to tell their stories and the project has become more than just about memorials and the facts surrounding them.
Below is an interactive map; when displayed on a wall, each print has a number assigned to it, which you can then look for on the map and see more information about the memorial. I've included any research I've done prior, any interviews I've done, and anything I've found out after about the memorial.
Interview with Jen
Interview with Maddie
Interview with Teresa