Russian Wooden Churches/ Richard Davies

12 Dec 2009 – 16 Jan 2010

Event times

Thursday Friday and Saturday 11am - 4pm

Cost of entry


Independent Photographers Gallery

Battle, United Kingdom


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Richard Davies Russian Wooden Churches


Richard Davies is a photographer working mainly in the field of architecture, art and design. Richard Davies has been photographing the wooden churches in the Russian North since 2002. In 1902 the Russian artist, stage designer and illustrator Ivan Bilibin travelled to the Vologda Province in the North of Russia. As well as collecting and studying the local folk art he drew and photographed the wooden church architecture. Seeing his images set Richard off on his travels. He was interested to see if any of these buildings had survived the ravages of time and Communism. He has travelled to theRussian North every year since. Many churches do still exist and recently work has started on the restoration of a few but most are in a perilous state and will not survive for many more years. Wooden architecture is central to Russian culture and its disappearance, which at the moment seems probable, despite the efforts of many dedicated specialists and enthusiasts, would be a great and shameful loss. Since February 2006 he has travelled with the writer Matilda Moreton. As a Russian speaker her interviews with local people, historians and other experts has given them a deeper understanding of the churches place in the community together with insights into the lives of the people they have met. In 2007/8 they had an exhibition at the Schusev State Museum of Architecture in Moscow. It was very well received and attended. In 2010 they will exhibit the images at the Douma (Russian Parliament) again in Moscow where they hope they will attract the attention of those who could certainly ensure the survival of these extraordinary buildings. A book entitled ‘Wooden Churches - travelling in the Russian North' by Richard Davies and Matilda Moreton will be published in the autumn of 2010. The images will also be shown at the Museum of Finnish Architecture in Helsinki 10th March - 30th May 2010

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