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Mariya Apostolova
3D4M, Minor in Urban Ecological Design

Mariya’s work finds inspiration in the dialogue between interconnectivity and crisis. Looking through the processes of transformation and transmutation, she is ultimately seeking the emergence of a new meaning. The experience of creative mediation increases her awareness of self and world, resulting in a deeper appreciation of the dynamic equilibrium between the environment and the self, an inquiry she aspires to develop in the creation of healing public spaces.

Clay has been the primary material Mariya has questioned through the application and interpretation of steel, paper, wood, found material and her own body. A visceral dance between nature and the built environment, Mariya’s investigations live in the rupture of the form, the spiral that binds together the past and the present, the individual and the collective, the part and the whole. By extracting meaning from the science of body and nature, and through the experience of motherhood cast away in the life of an immigrant, she continues to define the context of her explorations. Resolutions are less important than the observation of dynamic relationships in places of contact, break and imprint. Formal studies seek the tension and vulnerability of an impact within a circular time, where the conception of boundaries takes place in constant negotiation.


Before Mariya returned to school to pursue her degree in studio arts, she worked as a film production designer and was also actively engaged in the art direction for cultural events with the Bulgarian Cultural and Heritage Center in Seattle.

Mariya comes from a culture where the reverence to earth and soil is embodied in ritual, traditional song, bread, dance and customs. A celebration of life that flows over into a long lived practice in ceramics. Her childhood pastime of lying down in the warm meadows of wild flowers would deepen her relationship with nature even further. Yet, she discovered her passion for ceramics an ocean away. Displacement and uprooting forced her creative process into an intense self-inquiry investigating positionality within the immediacy of the physical and psychological environment. Mariya associates and merges clay with the body and, therefore, considers her work performative—a form of “embodied earth.”

Mariya Apostolova is currently graduating from UW School of Art, completing her BA in Art with a concentration in 3D4M (3-Dimensional Forum) and a minor in Urban Ecological Design.

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