Graffiti and a Crown of Thorns

Graffiti in the Caribbean

Graffiti at Fort Augusta - 2010

There are ruins, both old and new, on the old site of Fort Louise Augusta high above the point that guards the entrance to Christiansted harbor. Some of these ruins are decorated with graffiti that are not likely to be innocent.

Just to the left of the graffiti are the remains of an old building covered in the thorny cactus-like stalks of the night-blooming cereus. It was not blooming on this day, but I have seen the blooms, and they are spectacular.

The ruins, beautiful views of the harbor and ocean, contrasted with modern radio equipment housed in a ramshackle block building and a navigation light on the farthest point make this an interesting place to visit. Yet because of the graffiti and litter that speak to less desirable private activities, and the remoteness of the place, one also feels peculiarly vulnerable here.

ruin with night-blooming cereus

A Crown of Thorns - 2010

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6 Comments on “Graffiti and a Crown of Thorns

  1. Both of these images seem full of mysterious stories, some we may not want to hear, yes?

    For some reason, I find the first image very inspiring. It reminds me of some beautiful graffiti paintings. I love any text on painting…and, this looks very similar, but with the beauty of photo work.

    The night blooming cereus spectacle is a big event here in Tucson. The news media announces it and a local garden has an event during which hundreds of Tucsonans gather with flashlights and cameras to document their glory. I’m glad you have them too.

  2. Thanks, Melinda. This is one of those spots where one can just feel the stories, some going back centuries. And no, not all are pleasant. Except for the face with the frown and tongue out, the grafitti did not look too threatening, but then I am no expert in the local gang signs. On the other hand, this is one of those places where others shy away when they see it is occupied, and I do the same.
    This is the only place where I’ve actually seen the cereus blooming. I know there are other spots on the island. Incredible blossoms. Imagine that ruin of a building covered with them!

  3. Isn’t that amazing gorgeous flower blooming in a difficult place. Sounds a bit like life. I once saw an evening blooming flower in Arizona at the edges of a lake I can’t now remember the flower but I remember the excitement of it like finding a treasure.

    I really like the neon green- yellow in the left hand corner spiking upwards, very dramatic.

  4. Its interesting how you have portrayed the graffiti all bright, pastel, and neon…kind of fun and non threatening. And in contrast, the cereus which produces beautiful blooms is seen as ominous and disturbing…hiding some dark secrets. I am also amazed at how graffiti is the same all over the world..although sometimes (rarely) we can be surprised by the talent and creativity.
    Colors do so much to influence our perception.

  5. Thanks, Starla. Yes, this plant does grow in difficult places, and blooms at an odd time. It is a bit like life. That yellow-green spike of sunlit grass justs points you right in there, doesn’t it?

  6. That’s an interesting and perceptive comment, Catherine. The colors and values in each image are important. It is not always the dark and mysterious that threatens. Sometimes it is the light, bright and apparently playful that lure one in to a dangerous place. Thanks for stopping by!

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