Cydney Puro was born and raised in Santa Monica, California. She received her BA in Photography from Bard College, where she was mentored by Stephen Shore. Cydney has been working on an ongoing project exploring lesser-known islands. This adventure has taken her to such exotic locales as the Southern Finnish Archipelago (home to the Islands Korpo, Utö, Jurmo, Nagu, and thousands more), Olkhon Island in Siberia, and the autonomous Faroe Islands of Denmark. Cydney spends time with each island she visits in order to make out its character and how we as people use it, and it uses us.
The identity of each island is explored through what the atoll is willing to share through its way of speaking with you and your response ~
The Faroe Islands (Denmark) ~ pop. 49,117
The Faroe Islands, sometimes referred to as the ‘land of maybe’, welcomes visitors to be self-sufficient and thrive due to the richness of the cold, storm-colored beauty. Light seems to travel through every possible filter that erupts through nature to create a ‘hello’ of sorts. There is almost no time for personal reflection as the Island is busy doing so, and only leaves time for eye-blinks and wind-catching. Then there is the moment when you prick your finger and the sink fills with blood – in this case the North Atlantic and 107 pilot whales- allowing for self-reliance and nourishment that has traveled through history for hundreds of years. But that light…
Olkhon Island (Siberia) ~ pop. 1,500
A desolate display of extinguishing life versus reinforcing it, Olkhon Island struggles for its own life and identity set apart from Siberia. Olkhon’s ‘self’ is preserved under snow and through dust; life is lacking. Though seemingly vast with its endless views of the ice-covered lake whose surface it sits upon, a visitor feels trapped surrounded by nothing. The Island shares its sadness through an emptiness that hits at the core; it welcomes no one and exists not for its inhabitants, but simply because it is bound to the numbing waters of Lake Baikal. It rests heavy and doesn’t float, cares for nothing and no one. Ironically, it runs out of water even though it sits on the largest freshwater lake in the world.
Korpo Island (Finland) ~ pop. 889
A sparse setting to reinforce and reflect back what is inside you. Walking dirt paths into the ‘forest giant’ that is Finland and its islands, lined with pine, spruce, and white birch, and blanketed by mushrooms, you enter a world of fantasy and distance. Not able to tell where forest floor begins and forest roof ends; roads that continue and lead to nowhere but allow thought and dream to enter through your ear canal and flourish. There is nothing but time to feel shivers from the weather or warmth from a radiator. Watching the light change through your window or feeling the light change on your eyelids, Korpo gives you time to grow if you choose…its environmental richness is only a fingernails width of what one can get.
To view more of Cydney Puro’s work please visit her website.