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  • Jennifer Dowd

Eternal Artistry: A Photographic Odyssey through Ross Bay Cemetery's Graveyard Art - Aug 3, 2023

Nestled amidst the coastal beauty of Victoria, British Columbia, Ross Bay Cemetery stands as a peaceful sanctuary that holds more than just the memories of the departed. Its timeless charm and captivating artworks on tombstones and graves have turned this burial ground into a unique destination for photographers and history enthusiasts alike.


Stepping into Ross Bay Cemetery feels like entering a different era. Established in 1873, the cemetery boasts a rich history, and its lush greenery and ornate tombstones lend an air of solemn beauty. The graves here tell tales of pioneers, renowned figures, and ordinary individuals who once lived and loved in the vibrant city of Victoria.


Art is an essential part of the human experience, and even in death, it finds a way to leave a lasting impression. As we stroll through the cemetery's tranquil paths, we encounter a diverse array of art styles on tombstones and graves. Intricately carved angels, weeping willows, and floral motifs grace the memorials, symbolizing the eternal beauty of life and the profound sorrow of loss.

Each tombstone holds a story, waiting to be discovered. Capturing these artistic masterpieces through the lens reveals the skill and craftsmanship of those who created them. The epitaphs and inscriptions provide glimpses into the lives of those interred, making us reflect on the passage of time and the shared human experience. The art on tombstones and graves at Ross Bay Cemetery often carries significant symbolism. Cherubic angels represent guardianship and a peaceful journey into the afterlife, while broken columns symbolize a life cut short.

Wandering through a cemetery may seem melancholic, but it is also an opportunity to appreciate life's brevity and the value of the present. The photographs taken at Ross Bay Cemetery remind me of the impermanence of life and the importance of cherishing every moment with our loved ones.


While photographing the artwork in the cemetery, it is essential to remember that we are entering hallowed ground. Show respect and consideration for those who visit the resting places of their loved ones, and be mindful not to disturb the serene atmosphere.

Ross Bay Cemetery is not just a burial ground, it is a testament to the artistry and creativity that emerges from the human spirit even in the face of mortality. Capturing the artistic expressions on tombstones and graves through photography allows us to preserve and appreciate the legacy of those who have gone before us and find inspiration in the beauty and art that surround us, even in the most unexpected places.


And you never know who you'll run into...PS - Do not pet or approach.


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