Marina Kiselyova was born in Odessa Ukraine in 1983. She lives and works in London.
In her childhood, Kiselyova had a strong interest in both art and nature. Her interest in nature started by frequent visits to her grandmother’s garden and observing even the smallest daily changes in the flowers and plants. This quasi-scientific observation of plants later evolved into the precise studies of applied mathematics in which she graduated. As an artist, she is essentially self-taught.
After a chance encounter with contemporary botanical art in London, Kiselyova was fascinated by this genre of art. Its precision was a perfect fit for her rational mathematic mind and her creativity as an artist. She began studying the techniques of these works: the surfaces on which they were painted, the types of brushes used. Today, she paints her watercolors on vellum, a type of calf’s parchment that was historically used for botanical illustrations and she tests all her colors for their fastness.
Kiselyova’s paintings are typically of tulips which she grows in her garden. Beyond her affinity with the flower itself, she chooses to work with it because of its rich presence in botanical art history. In her monochromatic drawings, she portrays dried or decaying leaves such as hydrangeas or structurally complex plants such as sea thistles. For these pieces, she works with ink or graphite on paper.
For Kiselyova, her art is an extension of her mathematical training. In the minute details of flowers and plants, she sees the real-life embodiment of the Fibonacci sequence. It is this natural sequence and also the unique beauty of each individual plant that she seeks to honor and celebrate in her artwork.