One Week in Moscow

Photography Murray Ballard & Gabriella Rizzello

"It was supposed to be one month in Russia," says Murray Ballard, but sadly a personal tragedy cut the photographers trip short. Subsequently the two photographers, Murray and Gabriella, generated something positive out of their grief and created their One Week in Moscow photo-series and book to support a worthy cause.

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Photographers Gabriella Rizzello and Murray Ballard turned their collaborative project, One Week in Moscow, into a beautiful tribute to the life of Gabriella's late mother, Sarah Rizzello.

In contrast to their usual more lengthy and complex working process One Week in Moscow, as the title suggests, was a much shorter project. The magic and marvel of the photographs manifests through the romanticised Russian winter, which has been captured through a variety of camera formats from black and white 35mm to large format colour images. Within the pages of this book the variety of image-making methods combine through considerate and well-designed editing to tell a story, not only of their Russian exploration but of losing someone close.

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The project wasn't planned; one week in Moscow was supposed to be one month in Russia. The original objective of the trip was for the couple to document their month-long excursion whilst Murray continued to work on his long term cryonics project, The Prospect of Immortality. “We had no specific theme, except to document our journey and take pleasure in exploring a foreign land together" they explain. Although sadly on the 15th February 2010, just a week into their adventure, Gabriella's mother suffered a cardiac arrest and fell into a deep coma as a result of complications stemming from her illness of Type 1 diabetes. This tragic situation brought the trip to an abrupt stop as Gabriella and Murray rushed back to be at her bedside, arriving just eight hours after initially receiving the bad news. Sadly Sarah did not reawaken and passed away later that day at the age of fifty.

After the journey was suddenly cut short under these heartbreaking circumstances, they courageously vowed to generate something positive out of the grief. They both decided to use the imagery captured during their week in Moscow to raise money for Diabetes UK. They produced a photo book that was never meant to be. It was born out of the couple's amazing will to create good out of personal tragedy. They raised thousands of pounds (GBP) from the sales and Gabriella and Murray donated the money to Diabetes UK for the Adopt a Project Scheme, helping fund research projects to finds cures and treatments for Diabetes.