WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — A Texas photographer has visited the grave site of Flora Kemp, daughter of Joseph Kemp, for four decades now, and Friday, he showed off his work at the Kemp Center for the Arts.
That’s over 40 years of photographs taken by Jim Livingston of the ‘Crying Bride’, also known as Flora Kemp.
“I took pictures of her in every kind of season,” Livingston said. “Snow, rain and springtime and summertime, fall. And, I’d pour my heart out to her.”
Livingston, a Wichita Falls native, started taking pictures of Flora after his sister gifted him his first camera in 1981. As a shy kid, Livingston used Flora as his model, capturing stunning images over the years.
“I went to a funeral at the Riverside Cemetery, and there was Flora,” Livingston said. “She’s a life-size statue and I figured she wouldn’t mind, right? You know, she not gonna complain, right?”
So, Livingston began working on his craft. Through the years, Livingston has learned that every season, Flora changes.
“Every angle of light, that the sun does, every hour. She has a personality,” Livingston said. “She has really changed over the years, but she changes daily. Almost hourly when you visit her.”
Though people say they’ve seen Flora’s statue shed a tear, Livingston has not witnessed anything out of the ordinary.
“It is reported, though, that the Kemp Center for the Arts is haunted by a Ghost named Flora,” Livingston said. “So when you come here to look at the exhibit, you just encounter more than the pictures on the wall.”
Livingston said he hopes the community realizes the history within Riverside Cemetery and the love Joseph Kemp had for his daughter by building the statue.
“So when you’re looking at these pictures, Joseph Kemp loved his daughter so much,” Livingston said. “This was not a normal tombstone. This was a labor of love of his daughter that he lost, his precious daughter, and this is her family’s legacy.”
The show will end August 19 and is located in the West End Studio at the Kemp Center.