Ivilina Kouneva

Ivilina Kouneva
is a ClimateCultures Author

An artist and educator using colour, drawing and cut-out to articulate complexities of climate change in our everyday lives, and create dialogues between old and new.

I am a visual artist with a studio practice in the South East of England. Along with painting I also 'draw with scissors' to create paper cut-out compositions. Both ways serve my need to deepen my understanding of different human conditions and the fragility of life in the current times. I am tempted by relative mythology and magic realism. I believe that stories from the past relate to our presence. I aim to give visual expression of invisible connections that exist through time. I reach out for collaborations with other think-alike creatives whose work often sources my inspiration.

Through my visual work I best articulate the complexity of climate change and how it reflects on our everyday lives.

My process of making cut-out compositions is informed by continuous folding and unfolding of stories, putting the abandoned into use, giving it new life. I favour making paper cuts from a pool of my discarded artworks. During artists residencies I use what I find at the place such as the 'leftovers' by other creatives. I see it as collaborations through time and space. In a way, this process reflects my concern about the breakable connections among systems.

'Fragile Balances' is one of my most repeated themes, staging an exhibition with the same title as early as 2001.

Through the past decade, I have created a series of artworks inspired by the biblical story of the Great Flood. Thus I aim to bring attention to the mythical survival of humans, often staging them in one of the most powerful and loaded-with-meaning elements -- Water. Linking my work with these models I look for the archetypal scenarios and how they relate to our current lives in the Anthropocene.

My recent research is triggered by studies on how creativity raises awareness in the present moment and how it reflects on our sensations, thoughts and feelings. I look for ways of 'utilising art', where engaging with imagination is vital for our mental resilience and positive approach in time of crises. At the start of 2023 my activity was supported by a bursary from a-n Artists Information Company. I was thrilled that The White Pube supported my practice and selected me for the Creative Debuts April ’23 recipient.

Yet, my biggest inspiration comes from the younger members of my family who in their own pathways, actively promote sustainability for communities in the new realities of climate change.

Ivilina's ClimateCultures posts

Unfolding Stories from the Anthropocene and Beyond

Unfolding Stories from the Anthropocene and Beyond

Artist Ivilina Kouneva draws on her seaside walks and art-making, on tales of indigenous story sharing and experiences of others' creativity to make imaginative links between our heritage as storytelling animals and remaking connections between past and future.