2010 Moscow in May

Here are a few shots taken in Moscow during their 2010 May-day holidays.

The first shots are of busts made of me during a rather impromptu sitting for some of my girlfriend’s sculpture students who, desperate for new faces to practice on, descended on me and offered to immortalize me in clay … all very good fun and quite nice results too, for just 2 hours work. I hope to go back for another sitting later in the week…

Then we spent May 1st at the VVC (All Russia Exhibition Centre) where a lot of Muscovites go to relax and party on bank holidays. It’s a rather run down but still impressive relic of the Soviet era with pavilions dedicated to the different regions of the old USSR. In the past they would have been show-cases for regional produce and you can still find that sort of thing in some of the bigger ones but others are used for flea-markets or as general exhibition space. The rather impressive rocket statue stands just outside the VVC as a monument to space exploration and the brave Russian cosmonauts – I love the lines and the rather cheesy Soviet-ness of the whole thing. I hope to go back later in the week to photograph a recently restored and huge monument to Soviet workers that stands on the other side of the main gate.

A few days later we called back into the museum to pick up some specimens and then went on to the Pushkin museum to see a large exhibition of Picasso’s works (no cameras allowed). The next photos were taken on a long walk through the middle of the city, taking in the enormous statue of Peter the Great and then going back through the park where they have the old, unwanted Soviet statues mixed in with some modern art. We had a nice meal in a Ukrainian restaurant and finished along the banks of the Moskva at night…

Next day was hair-cut day … so it was absolutely freezing of course, but that cold front passed through over night and next day was lovely and hot again. Kyril, the sculpture student, must have got a shock to see me changed so much but it certainly saved him a lot of clay to resculpt my head and finish off the work he started last time. The results looked really good, I think.

Later we went to the Novodevichy convent, which is a place that I have wanted to visit for a long time. I can’t recommend it highly enough – inside the thick stone walls you enter a peaceful, beautiful world – completely removed from the noise and bustle of the city outside. Later we stopped off in the centre of the city for a coffee and a stroll past the Christ the Saviour cathedral & the Kremlin – the light was wonderful and photographs were easy 🙂

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