Between heaven and earth

Renovating the family grave

Between heaven and earth
Lettering:Kateřina Koňata Dolejší
Address: Haná, Czech Republic

Stone works: Kamen Engineering
Locksmith products: Milan Trnkal
Photo: Fotes
I have strong ties to my native soil. The grave at the local cemetery has served my family for several generations. It was passed down along with the family’s land along the female line until my grandfather Tesař married into the family. Even then, the grave had been dominated by a statue for more than a hundred years. The grave was maintained and decorated with vegetation; stone elements were added. But the ravages of time eventually demanded a more radical intervention, renovation, and the removal of deposits.

St. Joseph, carved into snowy white Carrara marble, stands guard and intercedes on behalf of the faithful Christian dead. According to our faith, only the physical remains rest in the grave, while the soul is in the Kingdom of Heaven. This tension – the interface between heaven and earth – is reflected by the levitating pedestal made of earthy black Nero Zimbabwe stone. It blends with the earth, revealing the beauty and purity of the sculpture of St. Joseph. While Joseph is depicted gazing to heaven, the black pedestal has come to rest just above the ground. As the Book of Genesis (3:19) tells us: “For dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.” Or as Matthew writes in the Gospel: “For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

Technical solution
The black stone slabs copy the dimensions of the family grave. They are loosely placed on galvanized steel beams attached to the concrete foundation via adjustable pedestals.
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