A while ago, I was able to take some shots in Roosenberg Abbey, Waasmunster, during a guided tour that preceded an lecture about the peculiar architecture of the place. With the ever-shrinking congregation leaving the building, it had been given a new life as a seminar center. Large parts, like the former living quarters, which had never been open to the public, could now be visited, and in my case, photographed. You can find those shots here.
I was surprised to learn, not long afterwards, that the abbey had had two predecessors, the first of which having been burnt down, destroyed and eventually demolished. A few select pieces of stone had survived in an archive, some of which in bad shape. They were retrieved by an archaeology student at Ghent University, working on a master thesis on medieval abbeys. It was him who brought the pieces to me to be photographed, before they decayed even further. With the shots underway, the VVV office of Waasmunster stepped in as well, acting as the second client for the commission.
The brief was simple: make a registration image of the relevant side of each piece, as well as a more stylish (more specifically, low key) shot that would appeal to a wider audience.
As you can see, most were construction elements, with the notable exception of the first piece, which looks like the base of a pillar. The marble artefact is in fact hollow, oddly weathered (chemically ?), and keeps eluding specialists as to its function. Fun to shoot. By the way, that detail that looks like a dog biscuit in the last image above, is actually the tail of a fish, symbol of Christ.
When laying flat, they look like soft cushions. Well, they are not. They are hard, heavy chunks of stone that gave me a free workout.
The second piece that's not a construction element, is the limestone crucifix. While not particularly tall (the width of the head is a little over 3 cm), it weighed like hell, and, like all artefacts except the pillar, required a modest amount of creativity to get it lit from the rear for the registration shot (not shown here). Judging from the cavity in the base, it must have been mounted on a square metal rod, towering (you noticed the perspective shortening, didn't you ?) over the faithful.