An Enduring Grace (2007 - 2016)
~ Exploring the cultural landscape of Russia ~
An Enduring Grace is an ongoing project based on my exploration of the cultural landscape of Russia, as well as its surrounding countries and former territories that have seen its continuing influence. The images are a fulfillment of distant childhood curiosities of Russia, then the Soviet Union, as a place very few people seemed to know much about. I remember watching black and white television in my room and seeing news reporters broadcasting from the center of Red Square in Moscow. That image of St. Basil’s Cathedral behind the reporter reminded me more of Disneyland rather than the evil empire of which he spoke. It was difficult to understand the contradiction between the harsh ideas Americans had of Russia and the whimsical nature of what I was seeing on television. I now satisfy my curiosity by traveling there, and capture these dramatic scenes with the same feeling of wide-eyed wonderment I had felt as a youth, mimicking the visions of my earliest ideas of Russia. I have been entirely caught up in the beauty and scope of this amazing land, and have been rewarded with a culture that preserves its heritage and landscape so dearly held by its people. An impressive thread of history runs through Russia that never seems to have been forgotten.
I believe these images require mystery from deep shadow to portray the unclear ideas of my youth, and my chosen artistic process to give them the gritty texture and depth they so deserve. With this process I also strive to strip away much of the realism and highlight the surreal qualities of my early dreamlike notions. These are the expectations that were not always so clear and contain a perspective slightly askew of monuments on a grand scale. The framed and fractured photographs of An Enduring Grace are born from my childhood mind’s eye, and respect a land where the strength and character of its people are also reflected in the landscape, cathedrals, and memorials to its fallen soldiers.