Robert Grasmere

“Red Bus On The Steppe”


Man versus nature? – Loneliness? – Symmetry? – Beauty? – Lofty reasons for a picture. But for me, it was visual absurdity, which is something I love. There it was, a red bus in the middle of the endless Asian steppe, where ancestors of Genghis Khan rode like the wind, lived in yurts and dominated the world. Their way of life is gone. Now in the vast emptiness, this sad, funny, humble, soviet-era bus paused to pick up local workers. It symbolized what I felt about this storied landscape and those lost nomads of the Steppe. So I ran to get this picture of the bus before it too vanished.


I am originally from New Jersey…where many people come from…and where many, many people still live. Obviously some of us had to leave or the place would burst. Being a very civic-minded person, I volunteered. I took my camera and some food and hit the road. The food ran out right away so I had to find a creative way to support my photography. The film business seemed like a good bet. I joined up. I have been behind a camera making images and telling stories ever since.

Selected by Tim Wride, Curator of Photography at the Norton Museum of Art.