Born in Transylvania, Ioana Vrabie grew up as third culture child in Tuscany, Italy, where she emigrated with her mother at the age of eight. The fact that she could not identify completely both with her original communist culture and her new capitalistic one, meant for her to develop an inquisitive approach towards life, that compelled her to be in constant search for her own personal truth.

She showed an early inclination towards arts and crafts, especially collage and mixed media, winning a few local prizes.

At the age on sixteen her grandfather gifted her with a Zorki 6 (the Eastern European version of Leica II) and her love for photography started.

It was only in her late twenties that she decided, after travelling the world as flight attendant for Lauda Air for almost a decade, to enroll at University of Arts London and take her passion to the next level.

While studying, she started to work at Photofusion, a camera club that reignited her love for analogue.

There she received a providential gift from a stranger: a bag full of expired film rolls that she took together with her analogue camera on a six months trip to Italy, India and Bali in search of a capturing a reality that does not need retouching.

During this trip she felt overwhelmed by the beauty of her surroundings and she instinctively started to allow her eyes to wander and her body to move through space, and shoot multiple exposure images, feeling a deep sense of liberation.

Her photography is a direct extension of her life travel: multi-layered, curious, with lots of "aha moments", restless yet calm, expressed in the form of multi-layered dreamy and mesmeric souvenirs. She calls them Eyescapes.

In 2016 she was one of the selected artists of It’s Art Call at DContemporary gallery in London.

In 2019 she participated to the Arteles residency programme Silence, Awareness, Existence in Finland.

She has been shortlisted for the Bridgeman Studio Award 2019.

In 2020 she has exhibited Marina and her Self(ies) n.12 at PH21 Gallery in Budapest, part of a wider portraiture project she is developing at the moment, with the aim of representing individuals as creative micro cosmoses, going beyond the layer of the mere physical representation, so overrated nowadays with selfies.


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Inside Out displayed at D Contemporary (London), photograph by Manos Fotiou

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