As you potter your way around a gallery chances are that all your attention is directed straight at the artwork. That’s all a bit obvious right? But that’s where photographer Andy Freeberg’s latest project, Guardians comes in. Photographing the gallery assistants in an array of Russian galleries, Andy cleverly takes the emphasis off the art itself and instead focuses your attention upon the dedicated women stood in front of it. And this is no mean feat considering their all too frequent tendency to otherwise go unnoticed, and their apparent ability to camouflage themselves into the background.
Gazing into their somewhat absent faces, the beauty of the project really comes in the impossible task of NOT imagining what is going on inside each woman’s head. Despite letting my mind run away with possibilities of heartbreak, mourning and plain boredom, according to Andy the women, love their jobs regardless of the long hours, shoddy pay packets and absent minded stares. You can’t argue with that!
- Steph Wilson, DR. ME, Women Who and Benedict Redgrove at Nicer Tuesdays August
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