Official opening: Friday 16 May, 17:00. Vesselina Nikolaeva, in her cycle School no. 7, turns our attention to the situation of young people living in Bulgaria – a country which, in its present form, is as old as the subjects of her photographs. Their regained freedom opened up hitherto unknown possibilities to them; the downside of the situation being a lack of role models and lack of connection to their historical past. The search for sources and references in history is a characteristic feature of the present day: more and more seldom can truly revolutionary slogans be heard.
Born in Sofia, the artist is one of the most interesting exponents of contemporary Bulgarian philosophy. Her artistic interests focus around documentary photography. In her works, Nikolaeva attempts to capture the elements of a disappearing culture in South-Eastern Europe and the atmosphere of nostalgia associated with them. From the fragments of this dispersed world, she attempts to create an image of contemporary Bulgaria with the geographical and political changes in the background.
Vesselin Nikolaeva is a graduate of the Utrecht Academy of Art, and has completed the yearlong Credit Suisse Master Class for Photojournalists from East-Central Europe in Budapest and the A. Broomberg and O. Chanarin class at Aranjues in Spain.
She is a two-time scholarship winner from the Dutch Foundation for the Fine Arts and the winner of many prestigious competitions, incl. Canon Award 2004; Descubrimientos 2005 – the prize for the best young photographer in Spain and the Grand Prix 4 International festival of Photography in Łódź. She has participated in over twenty group exhibitions and seven individual.