Anne Launcelott: Now
Teichert Gallery is pleased to present Now by Anne Launcelott, a collection of limited edition photographs from her travels in Russia.
“To travel is to discover that everyone is wrong about other countries”, Aldous Huxley (1884-1963), British author
I visited Russia in October/November 2018 for the Opening of my first major international solo exhibit which was held at Krista Gallery in Rybinsk, Yaroslavl Oblast.
After the Opening of the exhibit, which featured 60 photographs from my most recent travels to Bangladesh and India, my Russian host drove me into the countryside for the better part of a week to get a feel for what rural Russia is like.
Russia is a very poor country but the people were very friendly and welcoming. After visiting many small communities it soon became evident that the villagers face a very harsh existence. They are a hard working, very resilient people who value family.
The Freedom Collective Farm, the glue that held the village together, disbanded when communism collapsed. No longer bound by strict Soviet residency rules, the young migrated to the larger towns and cities that offered better prospects. Those left in the villages are an aging population. The general store, which stocks mainly vodka and a little of everything else, is now the main meeting place of the villagers.
Today Russian Orthodoxy is the country’s largest religious denomination. Organized religion was repressed by the Soviet Union and the churches were closed and the icons destroyed. Many of the buildings collapsed due to neglect. No matter how poor a community, much of their money has gone into restoring the churches to their former glory now that the people are free to worship openly. Unfortunately the future of the rural villages looks bleak, but religious practice is alive and well.
This exhibit will hopefully give a bit of insight into the ordinary Russian’s life and their devotion to restoring their beautiful churches.
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