Elitsa Ristova


I am Elitsa Ristova, currently based in London and studying at London College of Contemporary Arts (LCCA). The most recent phrase I have learned to appreciate is “Immense quietude” from J. Krishnamurti – San Diego 1974 – Conversation 18 – Meditation and the sacred mind. In these challenging times, this has led many including myself to examine our awareness of the absolute state and tranquillity of the mind.

My painting journey began at a young age when I was six years old and sat in the garden with my mother, drawing our home and the goats in their corral. I grew up in the countryside, which gave me a sense of freedom, love, curiosity, and belonging, from the outside, looking in, it may have appeared. That I had an idyllic childhood but my health condition taught me the fragility of life, as well as how precious time, love, and family are.   Subsequently, when I started high school, my mother, seeing my inherent artistic abilities, enrolled me in private fine art lessons, which inspired me to pursue visual arts like photography. Design and oil on canvas techniques were always something I wanted to learn after being captivated by paintings in the churches in our little town where I grew up. I eventually mastered and applied these techniques, which encouraged me to pursue my first degree in “Textile engineering”, at “University of Goce Delcev” Shtip, Macedonia, and which became the topic of my thesis. However, once this was completed, I wanted to examine other artistic themes, further my studies, learn more about English arts, and travel.

I relocated to the United Kingdom and fell in love with its rich history, contemporary art, culture, diversity, as well as London’s melting pot. All that has influenced and inspired most of my recent artistic work, with help and support from one of my outstanding unit leaders Alyas Latif and Grace Hawthorne. I began to extend myself and gain confidence in using different oil on canvas techniques, which lead me to paint these artistic pieces. Delve into many facets of humanity and embrace different cultural influences.

Having recognized the lack of cultural and societal diversity in other places around the world has served as a motivation for some of my paintings. Particularly as I walk through London’s streets and see this as their polar opposite as this country has been provided a variety of sources, of inspiration. As I have revealed, had the privilege to learn about new and unique cultural norms, traditions, music, cuisine, and human experiences. All of which have not only taught me countless life lessons, including how to live in the now, not take things for granted like the value of stillness.

The importance of self-reflection, our role in the world, but, most importantly, the fact that we are all on a journey called life. That we must learn to appreciate the differences in other people’s experiences by ensuring equal rights for all that one day in the future people will have the ability to be free-thinking. Also, be recognized and respected as equals in all societies around the world despite their religion, race, gender, sexuality, health, and economic status.   My paintings are inspired by human nature as a whole because one of the benefits of being able to make comparisons is that it allows you to make connections. Although progress has been achieved, much work has still to be done, and the opportunity for change remains, as my paintings subtly suggest.  The spectator is encouraged to “look at the man in the mirror” and ask themselves conscious questions about what they may do to aid this process of global societal equilibrium. The first step is to urge others to pause from the daily grind and the mechanics of life in order to ponder on intriguing topics like societal marginalized groups and the beauty of the neurodiverse mind. By disconnecting, they are able to recognize and truly see, because I realized that I, too, had to disconnect, embrace the power of silence on occasion in order to be in tune, recognize, and see.

This motivated me to question, and paint using various methods, whether it was the methodical development of new painting concepts or the decision to paint organically. This had a personal significance as this kind of artistic expression came from the depths of my soul.   Consequently, the in-depth examination of the neurodiverse mind, various emotional states, and coherent and incoherent aspects of human nature in order to better understand ourselves. The true meaning of life in order to achieve our goal of making the world a better place for future generations while leaving a legacy. This is the ultimate motivation and focuses for my paintings, that question via visual effect by combining sociocultural influences and the state of the world.

My studio is a beautiful, bright space where I can work quietly, escape away from it all, meditate in the studio, I have a canvas, several paints. A few plants. I’m hoping that one day I’ll have a bigger studio and will be able to have pets like such a dog and a few cats.    

“In my viewpoint, art is a bubble of harmony and mystery into which you can freely descend into your higher level of consciousness. Your own reflection is creating a sea of deepest pain and love on a pure canvas and for me, art is experiencing inner and outer spatial transformation.“

Piece with Artist. © www.piecewithartist.com

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