Gulnara Samoilova

Finding Family

Gulnara Samoilova began working on her major series ‘Lost Family’(2015-2016) after experiencing personal tragedies, namely the passing of her grandmother and her mother. The discovery of her family’s photo-albums during this tumultuous period led the artist to research her extensive family and to open up her family albums for critical self-analysis.

In ‘Lost Family’ Gulnara creates complex and striking compositions using her own, larger scale, photographs and small photographs from her family albums. The artists leaves important parts of a black and white photograph intact and overpaints the rest of the image with flowers, text and abstract patterns. Gulnara’s family members and the artist herself perform representations of themselves that cross temporal and spatial boundaries, connecting with each other within the compositional space.

As she culls through formal and personal photographs, Gulnara raises questions about how to represent that which is hidden, deferred or denied. In trying to find a photographic-artistic language to address death, mourning, remembering and reparation, the artist draws on her own lived experiences while at the same time inviting audiences to find their own reflections and resonances.

Lost_Family_Gulnara01------1.jpg

Title: My mother, grandma and imaginable grandmother
Medium: Pigment fiber print
Size: 17x22inch
Date: 1987-2015

 

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Title: To better life
Medium: Pigment fiber print
Size: 17x22inch
Date: 2015-2016

 

Lost_Family_Gulnara09-----3.jpg

Title: Four sisters
Medium: Pigment fiber print
Size: 17x22inch
Date: 1992-2017

 

Lost_Family_Gulnara05-----4.jpg

Title: My mother and imaginable siblings
Medium: Pigment fiber print
Size: 17x22inch
Date: 1992-2016

 

Lost_Family_Gulnara04----5.jpg

Title: My grandfather and Ruslan
Medium: Pigment fiber print
Size: 17x22inch
Date: 1990-2016