/ Elena Subach / Photo story

Grandmothers on the Edge of Heaven

This project is dedicated to my grandmother. I’ve been thinking a lot about this generation lately. If before the pandemic hit older people in Ukraine simply felt lost and unprotected in this world, now fear has become the dominant factor in their experiences. And it is religion that provides an escape from reality. In my works, I move the figures of women who resemble my grandmother into ideal landscapes that could be associated with the idea of heaven.

Our grandmothers are among us now, but not really, because their consciousness is already awaiting the approaching moment to step outside the bounds of life and find themselves at the gates of Heaven, in which they desperately believe. Regardless of their confessions, grandmothers retell to each other articles about miraculous healings which they had read in newspapers and as an evidence that there is life after death. I do not want to mistrust them at all, I only want to hug them and say that there is nothing to be afraid of and they are absolutely right.

Earlier, before the threat of military invasion of Ukraine, my project was just a lyrical dedication to the older generation, and a reminder to support closely related people. These days, the project represents another opportunity to show the world this country and its people, namely their beauty, uniqueness, and fragility. Now, we all need each other’s support, and I’m sure we have it, and together we will win.

Elena Subach is a Ukrainian photographer and artist. Born in Chervonohrad, Ukraine. She works with topics of small cities, religion, mythology and identity and uses photography as a tool for playing with facts and beliefs, mixing documentary, staging, computer editing and handcrafting into her unique andemotional visual language. She obtained Master’s degree in Economics in Volyn State University (Lutsk, Ukraine). She came to photography in 2011. Now lives in Lviv.