In Plain Air

Irina Rozovsky

Prospect Park stretches across 585 acres at the heart of Brooklyn, New York. Designed by Frederick Olmsted in 1867 as one of America’s first democratic parks, it was envisioned as a space for citizens of every social class and background. My ongoing series In Plain Air is photographed from deep within the park, where signs of the city and its thankless daily grind are farthest out of sight. These photographs look at an urban oasis that invites its visitors to a profound, however brief, commune with nature and a momentary release from the demands of contemporary life. I am drawn to private moments of transcendence and escape within of a shared public space. This is an imperfect nature that is tattered from overuse, and yet, it is a landscape activated by collective reverie and desire. As the light reflects from the lake, the surroundings momentarily transform into distant, disorienting, and beguiling landscapes of the mind.

I see Prospect Park as a kind of gritty paradise where a complex social reality is played out upon a shared, historic stage. As American esteem and spirit are put to a test, the images in this series hope to contemplate and reaffirm our sense of a common, living place and time.

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