Guiding Light, 2023
Colour Print on archival paper
A few days after the war broke out in Ukraine last year, my 80 year old grandmother embarked on a solo journey to Moldova from her home in Odessa. A bus journey got her part of the way there, but the remaining 10km was done by foot in the rain and snow to the border, alongside highways of gridlocked cars. I travelled to the edge of a warzone to meet her, and together we faced one and a half excruciating months of waiting in bureaucratic limbo for her visa, trapped in Romania.
The last time I saw my grandmother was 15 years ago. Once settled in the UK, we slowly became reacquainted with one another and I became her fulltime carer. Living with her has helped me to reconnect with my Ukrainian heritage and learn more about her life.
I have portrayed her as a Slavic folkloric heroine to reflect her resilience, hope and strength during this difficult and unprecedented chapter in her life.