How Many Hopes Lie Buried Here Mother
Opening: 11 October 2016
The exhibition How Many Hopes Lie Buried Here Mother, based on the photo book of the same name, shows postcard-size photographs of ages on headstones recorded at World War I and World War II cemeteries tended by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC). Photographs were taken in Belgium, England and in Oosterbeek in the Netherlands, close to where Bakker grew up.
All ages from eighteen to fifty are included – every age from the beginning of Bakker’s adult life to now.
“During these thirty-three years, I feel fortuitous to have materialized some of my hopes and dreams, including the making of this work. What hopes and dreams did the men have whose graves I photographed?”
How Many Hopes Lie Buried Here Mother is dedicated to Canadian soldier James Carter Irwin (1898-1916), buried at Nunhead Cemetery in south London, and his mother Jennie Carter Irwin (1871-1925). Mrs Irwin supplied the wording for the epitath that appears on her son’s grave, a photograph of which features on the book’s cover.
James Carter was wounded at Sanctuary Wood in Ypres on 2 May 1916 and was taken to King George’s Hospital in south London, where he died on 31 July 1916. In honour of James and his mother, the book was launched at his grave on the centenary of his death on 31 July 2016.
The book will be available to buy at the opening of the exhibition on Tuesday 11 October.
Roelof Bakker (born Leeuwarden, Netherlands) has lived in London since 1984. His work combines photography, video and print publishing and addresses the ever-increasing speed and momentum of contemporary life and the often tragic disposability of memory and the material. He’s the publisher of Negative Press London.
Publications include Strong Room (Negative Press London, 2014) a collaboration with artist/writer Jane Wildgoose and Still (Negative Press London, 2012), a collaboration with twenty-six writers, runner-up for Best Mixed Anthology at the 2013 Saboteur Awards.
His short fiction has appeared in Unthology 5, 6, and 7 (2014-2015, Unthank Books) and Unthology 9 (October 2016)