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Iliyana Grigorova

BA (Hons) Photography, Video and Digital Imaging | Class of 2021

Iliyana Grigorova is a photographic artist working mainly in documentary style exploring the themes of culture and identity. She is fascinated by the invisible influences of the environment on the human mind and perception.
Additionally, Iliyana is interested in participatory art and the involvement of audiences to create a piece of work.

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Sublime Worlds
Sometimes we all need to stop for a moment. To observe the surrounding area, not only with our eyes but with our ears and imagination. To observe how the environment affects our feelings. To be present. To be fully aware of where we are. And that feeling of losing sensation of your physical body. That’s when you allow your mind to wander away into a completely different world. During 1961, Yves Klein wrote “Today anyone who paints space must actually go into space to paint, but he must go there without any faking, and neither in an aeroplane, a parachute nor a rocket; he must go there by his own means, by an autonomous, individual force; in a word, he must be capable of levitating.”

This project is a documentation of the experiences of participants, their thoughts and feelings during the process. We went on small city adventures, as I call them. Locations, that not many people visit. Places where we were able to listen to the birds, the wind, the sea. I asked participants to lay down on a big sheet coated with cyanotype emulsion. Each exposure took between 20 and 45 minutes, during which it’s been sunny, windy and in some cases rainy. The responses I received are different, but with many things in common. There have been moments of ups and downs, comfort and discomfort. However the circumstances, they all enjoyed this moment of stillness.

Special thanks to Pedro Garica, Susana Hill, Fabio Figueiral, Catia Andrade, Tia Attia, Yoana Todorova and Michael Tindale for their dedication.

An Hour Of Silence
The morning is the most peaceful part of the day. It is also a good reason to get out of bed earlier than usual. Every day is unique and it won’t happen again in my lifetime. That makes each sunrise and sunset special on its own. Especially when we live a life with so much uncertainty for the future.

During my small adventures seeking serenity, I found the happiness of simplicity. I savoured myself an hour of solitude outside for a month and eventually realised that the sun phases are like human emotions – always changing and never the same.

This body of work explores the invisible connection between mind and nature. The images presented are scenarios of everyday life. The text included is a representation of the mental states I experienced during making the work.