Iveta Gabaliņa (LV, b. 1979) is a Latvian photographer known for her nostalgic and poetic landscapes and portraits from the series Somewhere on the Disappearing Path, created in the east of Latvia – a place her family once called home. Gabaliņa is also known for projects of a more conceptual nature, such as Opera, Polar and My Hand is Warmer than the Sun, which explore the photographer’s interest in the perception of time.
Gabaliņa received a Bachelor’s degree in Photography from the Arts University Bournemouth, UK, and a Master’s degree from Aalto University in Helsinki, Finland. Her work has received various awards, including CO Berlin Talents 2013, the CDS Documentary Essay Prize for Photography and a Burn Magazine scholarship. Since 2018, Gabaliņa has worked as a program curator at ISSP Gallery, the only gallery in Latvia focusing on contemporary photography.
Roll, roll morning dew explores water as an element in remedial practices. Water is the most essential element in sacred rituals, like the Latvian sauna (pirts) ritual in which the body, mind, and spirit are cleansed and healed. Pirts is the place where people used to be born and were later treated throughout their lifetime. In pirts, the body sweats out its liquids, offering a mental and physical cleanse. A higher state of self, calm, the reduction of anxiety and the relief of various psychosomatic symptoms are just some of the benefits gained through this sacred ritual. An important part involves the immersion of the body in cold water, leading to an altered mental state.
These remedial practices have been shared and practiced over centuries. Mixed with oral and textual folklore (words that are used as charms during the ritual) and herbal healing practices, pirtošanās conjure a unity between nature and the soul. Practically all plants are used in pirts: trees, blossoming branches, flowers, herbs. It is a celebration of life from its beginning to its end. In making the project, Gabaliņa visited and participated in this healing tradition over several years, which now survives among practitioners bound to its oral and literary heritage.