I've had a lifelong fascination with death and everything surrounding it; both the factual and the supernatural. I enjoy reading about all of its aspects, about cultural reactions to it and traditions surrounding it; I'm a hardcore taphophile and spend many, many hours in cemeteries.

I've had the priviledge of being present when both of my maternal grandparents (separately) passed away, both of them in the home my mother and I shared. It was a deeply profound and moving experience. I've also worked in healthcare for the last 22 years, and have come up against death in both peaceful and violent states.

I think that, especially in North America, death has become a sterile and impersonal thing. Not something to be studied or celebrated, but something to be shunted off to the side and ignored as much as possible; death is distasteful to us.

This woman photographs what are literally our last marks on this world. The photographs are absolutely stunning, and a cause for reflection.

Sarah is a co-founder of the Austin Center for Photography.

At The Hour of Our Death