Looking for Home: Photo Essay by Liliana Zaharia


The human element has always played an important part in my art practice. Since I first started taking photographs, I have been attracted to the fragility of a portrait as well as the power images have to stop time and compose a story.

For most of my work, I have usually looked outwards, in a search of meaning or emotions. One of my first projects, ‘Grandmother’, looked at the vulnerability of human life into their transience, through an everyday activity – taking a bath – of my dying grandmother. It was a sincere and somewhat raw look into my fears and relationships, but not even close to complicated and hard as it was to photograph my mother.

One particular reason for my struggle is my own defective relationship with my mother, which stopped me from ever taking photographs of her before. The differences in our mentalities has always put a space between us, and the older I grew, the more distant I became to my mother.

On my journey to re-discover this relationship and explore it more as an observer, I tried creating a visual poem of her loneliness in which she is living with my father. I was not necessarily concerned in depicting our relationship, but rather representing her emotional state of mind, which is strictly linked to her surroundings, to which she is usually confined to: the house, her room, the building in which I used to live until my twenties, and all their particularities.

Photography has been a means to take a step back and understand a bit more about her feelings, which many times were transferred and became my own, when we lived together. The series is composed of images which must not be looked at as a story or documentation, but rather as an excursion into depicting my mother’s portrait and my own memories from back home.

About the Artist

Liliana Zaharia is a fine art photographer, born in Bucharest, Romania. She completed her BA in Fine Art Photography at London Metropolitan University in 2013 and has participated in several group and solo exhibitions at various venues, including Red Gallery, CRE8 gallery, and Daniel Libeskind Space, and Marsh Ruby in London. The emphasis in her photographs is on the everyday life and the mundane, discovering her own identity through the people and places around her.

To find out more, visit www.lilianazaharia.com.


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