BEYOND PHOTOGRAPHY - The Leading Experimental Photography Platform

ESCAPE TO SOLITUDE

AN INTERVIEW WITH CEZARINA IULIA POPESCU

"Lovely to meet you, Iulia. Could you tell us a bit about yourself as an artist?"

My name is Cezarina Iulia Popescu and I am a scenographer based in Bucharest, Romania.

 I was drawn to an artistic endeavor ever since I can remember so getting an education in art came of its own accord. I finished high school with a diploma in graphic design and got a bachelor and masters degree in scenography. However, I don't think that academia shaped me as an artist as much as the encounters that I had along the way with various artists. Observing their passion, I learnt what it means to respect your art, speak from the heart, trust your instinct, be present in the moment and capable of changing your view point. As an artist you always have to keep moving, and keep your eyes open, everything that you interact with is a potential factor in your art.

"Could you tell us more about your work? How would you describe your style?"

My style is often described as feminine - clear lines, architectural, going for lighter colors with accents of bright colours; spaces that inspire the idea of solitude, but that also provide you with a hopeful sensation (atmosphere).

I make it a priority to have a flexible approach when it comes to style because as a scenographer you have to make somebody else's world come alive so you need to think, feel and see things like that person. If you impose your style on his world, you probably won’t get the best result.

"You describe yourself as a scenographer, can you elaborate on this?"

I have fallen in love with theatre while preparing to study architecture and rapidly switched my focus towards scenography. I think scenography is a powerful and poetic instrument to communicate. Any kind of detail like a choice of colour or maybe one piece of furniture arranged differently on stage can tell another story.

"Your sets have a beautiful escapist-mysterious feel to them. What is your process when creating these scenes? Are these places you wish to go to yourself?"

 I appreciate this very much.

 We are all going through a difficult time now in 2020 and I think that our mind needs to escape reality somehow to cope with the new situation. I started a series of 3d sketches on the first day of isolation. Seeing myself in a place where days are depicted as balloons that gently fly away and where the sun slowly starts to shine brighter. Every thought, feeling, presence of another person got captured in a sketch, or an interpretation of a painting. It is merely my way of escaping reality, staying in touch with my artistic self and regaining my balance.

"Your sets look like photographs, yet are completely manufactured. Do you consider your sets to be 'real' even though they would not have a physical manifestation?"

 I think that if they have the power, even for one second, to make you breathe that air, hear that wave, feel that wind, it is real - real as much as a dream. Some of them I can see as a set for a certain theatre play, and some of them can be the start of an art installation, but I consider that, either way, the viewer is the one that makes it real. 

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