Fiona Szende

Fiona Véronique (b. 1993) photographic works explore place-identity and the ways in which people relate to the spaces around themselves. Born in France, but raised in Canada and the United States, Fiona finds inspiration in and affinity for disparate cultural identities. Her work imagines the emotional identity of a place by looking closely at people, landscape, traditions, and structures. Fiona’s work has been published by Oranbeg Press, Capricious, and Don’t Smile, and is held in the collection at The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. She graduated from Pratt Institute in 2015 and currently resides in Brooklyn with her cat and first assistant, Salami.


Cloud near Halfway


Fourth of July Lovers Love


Ruby Valley

Riddle

Each year, in the middle of the harsh and unforgiving Great Basin winter, the city of Elko, Nevada hosts the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering – a place where storytellers meet to tell tales of life in the West. As I drove with my sister from her home near Seattle to Elko, Nevada, I watched with awe as the desert landscape suddenly emerged, a mere two hours from the coast. Green, winding roads around lakes and mountains transformed into a vast valley with endless sky and shrub-steppe hills.

Inspired by the mythology of the West, and the way the western landscape shapes the lives and words of the cowboy poets, Riddle constructs a poem from the landscape and its inhabitants as we encountered them along the road to Elko. The poem navigates the close, yet at times contradictory relationship between the far West and American identity; between the romantic ideal of a pristine wilderness, its freedom, its promise, and the actual day-to-day business of existence in a formidable land. Somewhere, one hopes, not just an aesthetic beauty emerges but a truth of beauty.


Watermelon


N 3rd W


Dead Man’s Pass


Desert Aire


Mountain Home Rose


Spring Creek Spout


Fourth of July II


Horse Heaven


Nearby Boy Left His Socks by the Lake


Looking out at Dotty’s


Fourth of July Gown


Watermelon II


Mann Lake


Spring Creek


Riddle


Conga Line


Have You Ever Seen a Cow Climb a Cliff

To view more of Fiona Szende’s work please visit her website.



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