Iveta Vaivode September 5 — November 1, 2014

Somewhere on a disappearing path

“Come, child! Let’s listen to the bees singing.” my aunt would say every evening before we would go to bed. Her white hair always reminded me of dandelion seed heads, so beautiful and delicate you almost fear to touch them. I remember her singing while working in the garden, singing songs about the nature surrounding her. She would also spend long hours with me talking about the family I never knew, but always considered myself to be part of.

Looking at my parent’s family albums, I would imagine their lives before I was born. I constructed memories I didn’t have, playing them over and over again in my mind. Somehow I always felt that the people I saw in the albums differed from the people I saw next to me every day. These photographs, although connected with a particular history, triggered my own imagination, rather than gave me a specific knowledge of anything.

The ambivalence of photographs, their possibilities and limitations suggest we should not trust images as records of our lives and histories. In a quest to create my own version of a personal family album, I have traveled to where my mother and grandmother were born to meet these distant relatives in the place of our origin. I had never met them, but was told about them. My work addresses the idea of memory and ‘looking back’ through the creation of my own narrative based on my family history.

For the last two years, I have documented people in the remote village ‘Pilcene’ in the Eastern part of Latvia. In my search for traces of my family there, I looked for the people who knew my grandmother. Through their stories I became very aware of their attachment to the land, their homes and the importance of elements in nature to their being.

Iveta Vaivode was born in Riga in 1979. She graduated from Bournemouth Art Institute (UK) in 2008 and is currently pursuing a Masters in Photography at Aalto University of Art and Design in Helsinki.


The influence of her work is driven by her own experiences, mainly the ones that come from her childhood. Whether she captures the quite appearances of the villagers from her grandmother's birthplace or a still gaze of the opera spectators, she is longing to create an image of life perceived by the eyes of a child.

Her lastest work, Somewhere on a disappearing path, has been selected amongst the recipients of CO Berlin Talents award 2013, Burn Magzine's Emegring Photographers grant and has been shortlisted for Sony World Photography award and Leica Oscar Barnack award in 2014.

Since 2008 she is a member of the non profit education organization ISSP (International Summer School of Photography) and her photographs have been exhibited worldwide.

Images are available as 9 x 12", 13" x 16", 22 x 28" and 40 x 51" pigment prints made in editions of 6 + 2APs, 4 + 2APs, 6 + 2APs and 3 + 2APs, respectively. Pieces range in price from $1000 to $4200, depending on the size and availability.

Please call: (312) 266-2350 for prices of specific pieces.
Prices are print only unless otherwise indicated.

Iveta Vaivode
Anatolijs in his Garden, 2013
Iveta Vaivode
Dandelion Seeds, 2011
Iveta Vaivode
Last Picture of Aunt Leontine, 2011
Iveta Vaivode
Pivoru Jazeps, 2012