Ambivalence takes the reader on a tour of Ohio cemeteries, a familiar scene to many of us. However, the scenes presented are quite out of the ordinary, provoking a feeling of ambiguity: symbols of the sacred, tombstones, votive candles and religious statuary memorialize departed beloved pets, not friends and relatives. Walking through these pet cemeteries brought the artist face-to-face with her cultural upbringing. While photographing what she perceived as shocking scenes, Louise was overwhelmed by the feeling of sympathy towards the loss of unconditional love and the need for closure. For some people a thin line exists between the sacred and the secular, the images here illustrate the necessity to remember our beloved pets in the form of this extended communal ritual. Unconcerned with the apparent profanity exhibited in pet cemeteries, the artist wanted to portray the ambivalence between the mind and the heart–the core of this collection of photographic essays.
Louise Levergneux is a photographer and book artist who creates limited-edition artists’ books and has participated in national and international book arts exhibitions. Levergneux’s work incorporates photography as a device that express her interest in the concepts of memory and identity. The autobiographical references are characteristic of her work, which centers on the act of collecting and storing her memories, her self-identity, and her environment.