‘Sardinia. The Footstep of God’ opens at North Hennepin

Sardinia is an autonomous island off the Italian coast in the Mediterranean Sea, which since being fully discovered by tourists in the 1960s, has became a haven for the wealthy, powerful and famous.
People have lived on the island for thousands of years, and many of its historical sites remain intact. Yelena Kurdyumova and Sergey Porada, both of whom are photographers and journalists, spent approximately 20 days on the island with their cameras documenting the island’s natural beauty and historical sites. Their results are now on display at the Joseph Gazzuolo Fine Arts Gallery in North Hennepin Community College.

Photographer Sergey Porada, left, North Hennepin Art Department Staff member Will Agar, center, and photographer Yelena Kurdyumova discuss a photograph’s composition. (Sun Post staff photo by Kevin Miller)
Photographer Sergey Porada, left, North Hennepin Art Department Staff member Will Agar, center, and photographer Yelena Kurdyumova discuss a photograph’s composition. (Sun Post staff photo by Kevin Miller)

The exhibit’s name, “Sardinia. The Footstep of God,” refers to the Sardinian myth for how the island was created. That is, since the island’s shape somewhat resembles a human footprint, the island was the first foot step of God on the Earth, so says the myth.
“It’s a very old territory with interesting history,” Kurdyumova said.
The goal of the exhibit is to provide Americans with a view of an area of the world that may be unfamiliar to them, Kurdyumova said. “Not many Americans know about the existence of this island and what it looks like.”
This particular exhibition mainly features landscapes and views of both historical and modern architecture on the island. Some of the historical sites date back as far as 5000 B.C. Ancient watchtowers and other structures remain intact and are pictured in this exhibit.
Animals are also appear regularly in the works. For instance, Kurdyumova was in the countryside taking a photo, when she heard something moving behind her, she said. She turned around to see a pair of wild horses running past and was able to photograph the animals before they were out of camera range. While wild horses are not native to the island. Some time ago, a ship with horses on it wrecked near the island, and the surviving horses made Sardinia their home, she said.
“These are absolutely wild … I was standing with my back to them, and then I felt something behind, I turned and I was able to do only two shots, and they disappeared,” Kurdyumova said.
While both photographers saw few dogs on the island, cats were quite common, they said. As a result, several photos feature feline subjects. Flamingos were also found and photographed for the exhibit.
The 34 photos in the exhibition were taken during two trips to Sardinia, approximately 10 days each. The photographers visited much of the island during their stays and did not focus on any particular area or region for their work.
Photographs in the gallery were intentionally printed on aluminum, canvas and Fujifilm Pearl Paper to show the difference in each medium, Kurdyumova said.
Sardinia has high wind levels, making it a destination for aerial sports and kiting enthusiasts, according to Kurdyumova. One photo in the exhibition features kites flying over a beach as a storm approaches.
“The winds blow all through the island all four seasons of the year. That’s why it’s an excellent place for all aerial sports,” Kurdyumova said.
Both Kurdyumova and Porada are members of the International Federation of Journalists and focus on sports reporting and photography. Both have been published Distance Running, Running Times, and the Russian Photo-Travel Magazine.
The exhibition is open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 8 a.m. to noon Fridays, May 16 to June 30. The Joseph Gazzuolo Fine Arts Gallery is in the Fine Arts Center.
North Hennepin Community College is located at 7411 85th Ave. N., Brooklyn Park.

Contact Kevin Miller at [email protected]