Cynthia Beth Rubin: Siberian Summer Tales

  • ©,



    Siberian Summer Tales


Creation Year:



    26 in x 36 in



Artist Statement:

    Memory and spirituality flow around and through one another. We step outside of our own daily worries and sink into the pool of humanity that is greater than our individual selves. In this moment, there is no history: we merge with the past, with our traditions, with other traditions, and ultimately with the worries and the daily lives of others.

    The imagery of my work is based on memory and imagined connections with the lives of others. I am naturally drawn to spiritual places, to locations that carry history, or were constructed to confirm collective memories. But any place that speaks of history, of past lives and nearly forgotten moments, can become the subject of my explorations.

    Digital imagery is particularly well suited to constructing visual tales of imagined memory. We layer our associations and our recollections, pulling out important details and simply holding onto others as background thoughts. The imagery that I develop within the computer is similarly layered. Representations weave in and out of each other, mixing with the colors and textures that give meaning to those fragments of the past that I am able to pull into the present.

    The source photographs for the images are my own, shot during walks through places filled with echoing memories. On the day that I arrived in Russia, I flew across the mountains and plains into the Siberian sunrise. Looking for a connection, I spent the first early morning in Novosibirsk walking among the high-rise Soviet-era apartments, and discovered a few remaining wooden houses, nearly forsaken vestiges of the past.

    In Siberian Summer Tales, the goal was to recreate the feeling of the homes of the people who resisted moving to Soviet-era housing, who occupy a hidden enclave of traditional Russia on the edge of Novosibirsk. Too shy to shoot pictures of these houses, I worked from a composite of other Siberian photographs, melding vegetation and houses as they are melded in this community.

Affiliation Where Artwork Was Created:

    C B Rubin Studio and Rhode Island School of Design