Nikolova-Kratzer chooses a balancing act in her work between control and surrender, simplicity and intricacy, light and darkness. She uses simple shapes to create her photogram silhouettes, yet she works with a complex set of variables including temperature, humidity and the timing of the exposure – factors that fundamentally affect the outcome. Nikolova-Kratzer embraces this as she feels strongly that “it is this artifact of chance that brings meaning and excitement to life”. Her work becomes a metaphor for having the fearlessness to embrace the unknown.
Drawing on poetry, literature and a myriad of artistic influences including Japanese Notan design, Matisse paper-cuts and the organic landscapes of Georgia O’Keefe, Nikolova-Kratzer creates photographic compositions which become sculptural in their focus on the object yet have the depth and thought of a painting. Using geometrical shapes and floating planes, these works build on her preceding series of landscapes taking them to a higher level of abstraction. With the materiality of the photographic medium, she seeks to record intangible aspects of the landscape, as she experiences them, through immersion and observation, without the camera’s capacity for transcription.
Her practice is inextricably linked to her way of life. The physical process of creating work uses her daily ritual of walking in the redwood forests near her home in Oakland, California to connect with nature and respond intuitively whilst reflecting her belief in the concept of immanence.