Tisza river project
an artwork by Susan Silas
     




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© 2013 by Susan Silas
           

summer and winter




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I first went to the Tisza in the summer of 2006. I started out from Budapest and drove to a small village called Tiszabecs. There the Tisza enters the northeastern corner of Hungary. Campers intending to canoe down the river start out at this spot. A number of canoes rest on the smooth brown rocks along the shore as their owners pack food and additional clothing in water tight bags and discuss their plans for the day ahead. I convince someone to paddle me out to the center of the river to take some photographs. After we are done, they set out.

In summer, the shoreline is lush and green and there are swimmers, canoers, and fisherman to be seen everywhere. In contrast, when I return in February of 2009 the winter trees, mostly deciduous, are bare and look brittle in the cold air. The river, while familiar, looks forbidding. Places visited in the summer of 2006 look changed but are still easy to recognize in the winter of 2009. At first, I think to pair the images of one trip with the identical locations on the second visit but later, as my focus shifts to the Tiszavirag, or swarming mayflies, this idea feels too rigid. The images from both years are intermingled here. The summer and winter images are arranged so that they appear in a chronology from north to south.

 

 










Village in Eastern Hungary, winter 2009