About the Book
I met many cactuses in Baja... Some reclusive hermits and others in numerous company. When encountered alone, a single plant always appeared stoic and contemplative, as if its exclusive purpose was to meditate forever in the vast expanse of the desert. But more frequently I made acquaintance with whole armies of cacti, and when occupying large territories together - they seemed fearless in their spiky armors and mutual comradery. Depending on the situation and personality of my beloved desert subjects, I adjusted my individual approach. In the end I was surprised to discover that this collection of images felt more like a series of portraits to me.
It gives me absolute pleasure to dedicate 'Cactus Land' to my grandmother, whose hobby during my childhood in a very-distant-from-Baja Minsk, Belarus, was growing and cultivating cactus plants at home. When the cactus bloomed - it was a family celebration! Thank you so much for this oldest of inspirations.
Born in Minsk, Belarus, Anna grew up in former Soviet Union where years of dance and ballet training began to shape her future interest in photography. During teenage years her family immigrated to United States as political refugees. While learning the workings of the Western capitalist system, Anna’s creative expression shifted to the more solitary activity of drawing and painting. During university years at University of Wisconsin-Madison, Anna continued to moonlight as an illustrator, creating technical architecture and archeology pen-and-ink drawings for books and magazines. Later she transferred to Columbia College in Chicago and graduated with a BA in graphic design and photography. After a successful decade-long career in advertising, she felt unfulfilled and began modest exploration of acting and creative writing courses at University of Chicago. The resulting inner discoveries led to a graduation from commercial life and a subsequent move to Tulum, Mexico, in 2010.