MAJA STRGAR KURECIC
// Maja has been a fine art photographer and university professor of photography for almost 25 years. Her work is widely exhibited and published, and her recent projects have won many awards. We are thrilled to present an excerpt from her Floating Garden series.
With a PhD in Engineering Sciences in the field of graphic technology and digital photography, Maja teaches photography at the Faculty of Graphic Arts of the University of Zagreb, Croatia. Over the last few years she has devoted her photographic energies to abstract photography series. Her recent projects Other Worlds, Escape Landscapes and Floating Garden have won many international awards. Her photography has been shown in more than 50 group and 20 independent exhibitions, in her home country and abroad. Maja is a member of the Croatian Association of Artists of Applied Arts and of the Croatian Press Photographers Association.
“Art is the only way to run away without leaving home.”
Twyla Tharp (American dancer)
What draws you to the arts?
“I’m a visual being. Ever since I’ve known myself, I’ve been attracted to the visual media. Transmitting thoughts and feelings, ideas and stories through pictures has always been a closer way of expressing myself than that of words. From a young age I was interested in graphic design, photography, painting and sculpture. My father and grandfather were architects, so I became interested in architecture too.”
What do you like best about the artful abstract flower photography you have shared with us?
“These photos are not just photos of flowers; they are an ode to the organic, elemental life, as well as an ode to the cycle of life – which celebrates birth as well as death. My emphasis is on transience, but also on the beauty of all stages of life. I look at aging and decay in a positive natural sense, as something that provides the preconditions for a new life.”
Maja started the Floating Garden series in the summer of 2019. It all began with a single rose. The rose her daughter received for her 18th birthday. This rose prompted Maja to think about youth, beauty, transience…
“It brings about the awareness of the inevitability of the end. The mere look at the rose and, quite surely, the thought that my daughter was growing up, drove me to preserve that rose from deterioration, to safeguard its youth. So, without much planning and thinking, I put it in the water and iced it. After a while, it came to me how to shoot it in order to emphasize the delicate structure of the petals and maintain its natural color.”
In addition to rose petals, Maja began experimenting with other flowers, leaves, twigs, grasses, seeds – everything she would find in her garden. She secluded herself with her “treasure” in her children’s room, where she submerged it under water in a simple glass bowl, the same one she uses for making Sunday lunch. Thus, submerged and illuminated by a desk lamp she began with its transformation.
In Maja´s luminous images we can admire the beauty of nature, the seasonal aspect of leaves and flowers, beautiful even in their decay with their delicate structures and fine lines, and preserved forever into artful compositions that will never fade.
Click on the photos to see a larger image.