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Nadezda Nikolova

Nadezda Nikolova (b. 1978, former Yugoslavia) is a photographic artist presently working with wet plate collodion photograms – a historical technique dating back to the 1850s which uses light-sensitive salts to cover a glass plate before exposing it to the light in a portable darkroom. Her practice is informed by an experimental approach to early photographic processes and her interest in the image as an object. Captivated by the fluidity of wet plate collodion, she manipulates the medium while simultaneously courting chance intrinsic to handmade photography: “I spray, dab and brush on the chemistry in a performative enactment rather than an image capture. (Sometimes, the brush strokes leave physical marks on the emulsion.) In essence, I am negotiating with the chemistry, guiding it. But only to a point. The chemistry has a say in the final image.”

The abstract landscape series, Elemental Forms: Landscapes and Elemental Forms, Landscape Rearticulated, emerged as the artist’s direct response to her surroundings and to feeling a sense of well-being and security within the landscape. She believes that each locale has its specific identity, history, and emotional imprint. Her aim with this series is to record intangible aspects of the landscape, as she experiences them through immersion and observation, without the camera’s capacity for transcription. The photogram as a medium allows the artist to search for the essence of the place by using simplicity and abstraction. By reinterpreting a 19th century process and reducing photography to its essential components, the artist has created a unique visual vocabulary suggestive of landscapes that exist outside of space and time.

Nadezda Nikolova studied historic processes at George Eastman Museum with Mark Osterman and at the University of Kentucky. She was a finalist for the 2018 LensCulture Exposure Awards. She lives and works in Oakland, California.



b. 1978, former Yugoslavia
Lives and works in Oakland, CA

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Elemental Forms, Center For Photographic Art, Carmel, CA.

LIGHTWAVES: Experimental Photo-Art from California, Marshall Contemporary, Venice, CA.
Art in the Plague Year, UCR ARTS: California Museum of Photography. Online Exhibition.
Waiting II, HackelBury Fine Art, London, UK.

Photo London Digital, Online Art Fair.

Twenty-One, HackelBury Fine Art, London, UK.
Out of the Dark, Cabrillo Gallery, Aptos, CA.

Alchemy, three person show w. Pierre Cordier and Garry Fabian Miller, HackelBury Fine Art, London, UK.
Alae, two person show w. Kaden Kratzer, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Little Rock, AR,
Photo Sensitive, Olson-Larsen Galleries, Des Moines, IA.
The Voies Off Festival, The Best of LensCulture: Volume 2, Arles, France.

Celebrating the Creative Process: An Open Call, PhotoPlace Gallery, Middlebury, VT.
Unique: Alternative Processes, A Smith Gallery, Johnson City, TX.
Silhouette, Duncan Miller Gallery, Santa Monica, CA.
Little by Little, Art Intersection, Gilbert, AZ.
13th Annual National Alternative Process Competition, SohoPhoto Gallery, New York, NY.
Other Worlds, SE Center for Photography, Greenville, NC.
Light Sensitive 2017 — Celebrating Images From The Darkroom Art Intersection, Gilbert, AZ.

Winged Synchronicity, two person show w. Kaden Kratzer, LightBox Photographic Fine Art & Printing, Astoria, OR, USA.

Analog Mania, Timisoara, Romania.
Illuminate, The Center for Fine Art Photography, Fort Collins, CO.
New Alchemy-Lexington Camera Club, Anne Wright Wilson Gallery, Georgetown College, Georgetown, KY.
ACTINIC Festival, Scotland.
What’s Old Is New Again: Alternative Photographic Processes, Gallery 136 1/2 at PhotoSynthesis, Manchester, CT.
H2O, A Smith Gallery, Johnston City, TX.
Revela-T: Photo Festival of Analog Photography, Vilassar de Dalt, Spain.
Lens-less, M S Rezny Studio & Gallery, Lexington, KY.

Aura, Lightbox Photographic, Astoria, OR.
Theme: ICON {Representations of Semiotics}, SEITIES, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
Altered Views, Lightbox Photographic, Astoria, OR.


Finalist, LensCulture Exposure Awards
Honorable Mention, 13th Annual National Alternative Process Competition, SohoPhoto Gallery, New York, NY

Finalist, Pohotolucida Critical Mass, Portland, OR

Director’s Selection and Juror’s Honorable Mention, Illuminate, The Center for Fine Art Photography, Fort Collins, CO
Second Place, ACTINIC Festival of Alternative Photography, Scotland