Speak, memory: the dreamlike portraits of Nadia Sablin

For artists such as Nadia Sablin, art is a form of catharsis and self-discovery. From 2008 to 2011, the New York-based photographer travelled around Estonia, Ukraine, Russia and the US taking portraits of women and girls as a way of reflecting on her childhood and deconstructing herself as an adult. “I am interested in blurring my own memories and experiences with those of my subjects, creating a new narrative to be recorded by the camera,” says Sablin. “By including photographs from both the former Soviet Union and the United States in this body of work, I am creating a reality whose location is psychological rather than geographical in nature.” Her portraits are imbued with an otherworldly quality, which Sablin herself acknowledges. “As a Russian-born artist", she says, "I closely relate to the format of the fairytale."

7 March 2014

For artists such as Nadia Sablin, art is a form of catharsis and self-discovery. From 2008 to 2011, the New York-based photographer travelled around Estonia, Ukraine, Russia and the US taking portraits of women and girls as a way of reflecting on her childhood and deconstructing herself as an adult. “I am interested in blurring my own memories and experiences with those of my subjects, creating a new narrative to be recorded by the camera,” says Sablin. “By including photographs from both the former Soviet Union and the United States in this body of work, I am creating a reality whose location is psychological rather than geographical in nature.” Her portraits are imbued with an otherworldly quality, which Sablin herself acknowledges. “As a Russian-born artist,” she says, “I closely relate to the format of the fairytale”.

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