From Russian’s far north, they are in colour but it’s a pale, laid bare colour that almost feels like painted over monochrome. People seldom feature directly but what is shown instead is the strange defiance of the marks of human habitation – a frozen utilitarian block of flats with a mural on one of the walls, washing on a line, an entire settlment under an unforgiving sky.
The very existence of such people and places is part of the Russian identity but the pictures evoke something deeper – a curiosity, a sadness even. And it all comes bathed in the bluish haze that presumably passes for the brightest light of the day.
Read a bit more about Roberts and Motherland – the year-long journey through eleven time zones of which these photos are part – here.