Eva Timothy was raised in Bulgaria behind the Iron Curtain where creativity was stamped out rather than encouraged. But her father prized creativity over uniformity and took a stance by painting the Beatles on one of the walls in their home — something he could have been arrested for doing.
“I had two amazing parents that let me dream and see things in a different way,” Timothy said, reflecting on her early dreams to leave Bulgaria for America. “I saw colors when gray was present, when black was all around. They believed in me and my dream.”
Timothy was baptized into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1992, shortly after she moved to Salt Lake City. Her creativity and love for learning drove her to study communications, photography and film at the University of Utah.
Since her undergraduate studies, she’s been hard at work as a photographer, compiling works for her debut monograph “Lost in Learning: The Art of Discovery,” which she discussed in a recent lecture at the Springville Museum of Art.
The lecture wasn’t meant to solely promote her work, but it was to ignite curiosity and creativity to those who traveled to hear her speak.
“Learning is the most powerful thing in the world,” she said. “When learning is really tied into our aspirations and our dreams, we’re able to create. … Learning becomes the most incredible journey in our lives.”
Timothy manipulates the lens of her camera with a different lens, like a magnifying glass or a spectacle, to highlight significant people of the Renaissance, including Leonardo da Vinci, Galileo, Isaac Newton and several others.
From start to finish, the project has taken Timothy more than seven years to complete because of the challenges she faced in getting photographs of original manuscripts like Galileo’s sketch of the moon.
“I just kept writing letters and I met with them on a few occasions and explained, ‘I’m doing a project and I’m not going to do anything bad or write anything bad about them,’” she said. “The pieces of the puzzle just kept coming together.”
The experience has been eye-opening for Timothy, and she hopes to encourage a newfound love for learning in those who come across her work.
“We are all born discoverers, every single one of us,” Timothy said. “They have not discovered it all. We live in this day in age, this new Renaissance, where we have so much that enables us to discover all of these new and amazing things. … Go discover things that haven’t been discovered yet.”
Photographs from this collection are slated to be displayed at Brigham Young University in October. For more information on Timothy, her photographs or her book, visit www.illumea.com.