Lucia Ganieva

Olandija / Netherlands

Ermitazhniki

Ermitazhniki

When I lived in St. Petersburg I often visited the museum Hermitage.I noticed that, while the paintings and other art objects in the museum are admired every day by thousands of spectators and are photographed endlessly, there is little attention for the ladies sitting in the rooms and watching over the museum treasures.

I always found these ladies special, very strict concerning the behaviour of the visitors, but on the other hand they talked with love and passion about the art objects in their rooms.

In 2005 I came in contact with the administration of the museum and asked its permission to make photographs. In summer of 2006 I came back and started to make portraits of the ladies. During my work I came to the idea to choose with each portrait a painting from the enormous museum collection, which in one way or another interacts with the portrayed person. I came back a second time in the summer of 2007 to complete my project.

I consider this series to be a tribute to these silent workers and by portraying them I want to bring them out of anonymity. The series contains 12 portraits, shot with a mid-format camera.