The village is the cradle of the Russian civilization. This is where it has its roots. It has preserved its primeval soul, pure and simple. Through centuries of building a unique eco-system, it has turned into a self-sufficient organism living by its own rules and customs. The Russian village is going through hard times, with no one to develop farming and look after the environment.
The young are lured to the cities, chasing after the ever-changing fashion, ephemeral material values and carnal pleasures. After a time, though, some of them realize that no money can give you happiness and welfare, and begin searching. Sometimes people living in cities don’t know exactly what they are looking for, though they feel strongly the unfathomable call of nature and its mysterious power. The highway noise, loud music and fake laughing silence the voice of your soul, so you just can’t hear it. Only the old man, the guard of the local way of life, knows the secret that the century-old woods and grateful lands are holding.
Living in the country means accordance. Your inner nature is in harmony with the outer nature, you speak the language of your soul, the language of nature and God. Living in the country means purification. Labor has the power of healing the body while bringing your soul back to life. It can’t be compared to work in the city, which only damages your physical and mental health. The village air is different. I feel it every time I come. Living in a place you have to inhale what this place produces.
While what the city spits into the atmosphere is pure poison (factory fumes and wastes), the lungs of a village are green forests and endless fields. No matter how hard technical progress along with human greed are trying to force out this little piece of virgin nature and pure thoughts, the village is alive, alive thanks to its pines, good harvest and the old man guarding its peace.
Yulia Artemyeva was born in Nizhny Novgorod in 1983. She completed a degree in Economics in 2006. She started to work in photography from 2010. In 2015, she received the title of Excellence Artist of FIAP (EFIAP) from The International Federation of Photographic Art (FIAP, France). Her works have been exhibited at group exhibitions throughout Europe, North and South America and Asia. She is a winner and finalist of international photography competitions and festivals.
“To me, photography is a way of investigating human nature in its relation to the living environment. I would define my area of work as socio-psychological portraiture. The entire microworld people are surrounded by speaks of them just as explicitly as a verbal text would do. Creating a personal space turns into an identity practice: a person chooses things not according to their functional value, but according to their potential to bring the imagined to reality to the extent life permits. This way a portrait is merged into interior or a still-life where the model shifts to the background, while still remaining the main focus of my interest. […]”