Born in Riga in 1979, Iveta Vaivode graduated from Bournemouth Art Institute (UK) in 2008. She is currently continuing her studies to obtain a Masters in Photography at Aalto University of Art and Design in Helsinki. Since 2008, she has been a member of the non-profit education organization ISSP (International Summer School of Photography). Her works have been exhibited worldwide, including her most recent work “Somewhere on a disappearing path.” It was selected as a recipient of the CO Berlin Talents award in 2013, as well as a Burn Magazine Grant, and was shortlisted for the Sony World Photography award and Leica Oscar Barnack award in 2014. Today we share that work.
Somewhere on a disappearing path
“Come, child! Let’s listen to the bees singing,” my aunt would say every evening before we would go to bed. Her white hair always reminded me of dandelion seed heads, so beautiful and delicate that you almost fear to touch them. I remember her singing while working in the garden, songs about the nature surrounding her. She would also spend long hours with me talking about the family I never knew, but always considered myself to be part of.
Looking at my parent’s family albums, I would imagine their lives before me. I constructed memories I didn’t have, playing them over and over again in my mind. Somehow I always felt that the people I saw in the albums differed from the people I saw next to me every day. These photographs, although connected with a particular history, triggered my own imagination, rather than gave me a specific knowledge of anything.
To create my own version of a personal family album, I have travelled to where my mother and grandmother were born to meet these distant relatives in the place of our origin. I have documented people in the remote village ‘Pilcene’ in the Eastern part of Latvia and every person I got to know became a part of my own story. It was like closing my eyes and loosing myself within this place, which has been so essential to my family. I’m not dreaming about other places anymore. This is one I will always return to.
To view more of Iveta’s work, please visit her website.