Manoela Grigorova

UK flag

Location: London

Featured Places: Bulgaria & London


From Bulgaria with Love…

Born in 1983, in Varna, Bulgaria, under the veil of the Iron Curtain, I started my art journey as a child. Creativity has been the backbone of my very being, from sewing, embroidering, drawing, I always loved making with my hands. When the Berlin wall fell in 1991, my parents decided to leave Bulgaria, chasing a better life for us. I was 8 years old.

My dream was to be in fashion, I would feature in Vogue one day! I studied fashion design at college and university but quit my degree in the first year because I became disillusioned with the industry. But creating with my hands has stayed with me throughout and has been a sanctuary at many points in my life.

Growing up in Varna, on the coastline, it was difficult not to fall in love with the sea and it now inspires many of my works. The seaside, anywhere in the world, always feels like home.

My childhood, living in a Communist country, taught me many things; how to make do with what you have, to always be grateful and that all (people) are equal. That’s what I choose to take away from an oppressive regime.

My work features the Bulgarian rose, my past, and the English rose, my present. Though, I wouldn’t call myself Bulgarian or British, a mixture of both and neither. Rainbow colours feature heavily in my work, for so many reasons. For me it symbolises hope and joy, silver lining, an end to the storm, nature and it’s what helped me through the beginning of last year when my parents both got very ill with COVID 19. I hope my work brings you joy