Unveiled in Ross’s photography and video works is the meditative and spiritual power of landscape, as well as a sense of the sacred with which it is imbued. She draws from the experience of the devotional pilgrimage. Rarely does the human figure appear in her work allowing for a direct and intimate viewing. Without the presence of the body, there is no explicit demarcation of scale: the viewer’s relationship to landscape and space is thus uninterrupted.
Classically composed, these works use simplicity and austerity to invoke ideas of spirituality, eternity, and transcendence. In these monumental portraits Ross calls our attention to the great force of nature, collective histories, and the endurance of faith. Personal prayers are expressed through the ephemeral materials made of branches, ladders, cloth, and amulets. Ross’s images become a quiet act of defiant support for the Uyghurs in Xinjiang whose language, culture and religious practices are strictly limited by the Chinese government. Though the threat of disappearance is real, the photographs speak of an alternate narrative. One which functions as a continuation of the shrine’s meaning.