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Rosa Mystica

Spanish artist, Julia Valencia is interested in how humans represent the holy. From a Catholic upbringing, she is fascinated by the East Orthodox depictions of sacred scenes. In her installation, "Rose Mystica" she explores the connection of Bulgarian iconography and the rose trade.

Studio of the artist | Sofia, Bulgaria

Yordan Alexandrov | Julia Valencia

Julie describes her hair as a combination of both of her parent’s hair – curly and strong like her fathers, fine and smooth like her mothers. If you look at Julia’s installations you see her interest in synthesis.

“My grandmother used to say that it always smells like roses when the Virgin Mary appears.

This memory triggered research about the bond between the Virgin Mary and the rose, a bond that also connects orthodox iconography with the biggest Bulgarian industry.”

Her delve into the symbolism of the road took her through Christian traditions, Greek mythology and even the geometry of the orbit of planets. The rose is a symbol of the Chalice of Life and the primordial feminine. Julia’s installation ‘Rose Mystica’ is an altar to this symbol of the feminine sacred.

“Imitating orthodox iconography where the face of Virgin Mary is surrounded by a noble metal, the rose is framed by its own protection: its thorns.

A place to grace blood, beauty, the feminine and the goblet.”

I found out that the symbolism behind the rose is remarkably mystic and ancestral. I found out that the symbolism behind the rose is remarkably mystic and ancestral. Even if the Christian tradition relates the scent of roses to divine presence, the ancient Greeks already associated this smell to the gods talking or grinning. The Dictionary of Symbols by Jean Chevalier deepens in the correlation between the rose and the Chalice of Life, the primordial feminine symbol. All these references have to do with this flower’s link with planet Venus. A geometrically perfect figure of a rose shows up when observing the pattern that Venus and Earth orbits intertwine around the sun.

About the Artist

Julia Valencia (1981, Cádiz, Andalusia, Spain) is an artist and a creative director. Mostly installation-oriented, Julia Valencia examines reality in pursuit of mundane revelation. Her work unravels the magnificence that lies in the ordinary through the design and construction of sacred, intimate spaces. Using appropriationism a nd decontextualization, her installations confer a new interpretation, a different way of experiencing, placing what looks trivial in an altar. Julia Valencia finds essential to spot and remove all the superfluous, worthless layers in order to discover what’s truly vital. “I am only happy in beauty”, she claims. The conquest of beauty and balance is the ultimate, crucial goal, the impulse/stimulus/urge enlightening all intentions, making sense across all actions. Beauty matters. —

Directed by Vitto Valentinov | Director of Photography Kevork Vanlyan
Produced by Yordan Akeksandrov