Helena  Aguilar Mayans is a fine art photographer from Olot, northern  Catalonia (Spain). She has a BA in Fine Arts and a MA in art  education both from the University of Barcelona. She captures her photographies on film.

Her work explores the concept of beauty in decay and women’s  own spaces. The relationship between ruins, Nature and humanity. She is  inspired by female characters from bygone eras and her photographs are a  gateway to other realities. Some artistic and literary movements of the  nineteenth and twentieth centuries are also a great source of inspiration to  develop her work.

For years, she  has been traveling around Europe looking for abandoned locations that serve as  stages to create her images. Visiting these vestiges she wonders what these  spaces inhabited by women would have been like; in an exercise of revisiting  history, in a subject where references are lacking and shunning total  recreation. It is also a look at the past from the experience of the present.  Inspired by the idea of ​​ “a room of one's own” forged by Virginia Woolf, she seeks to explain these  spaces of one’s own, which end up becoming mental spaces and shelters for contemplation.  At the same time, her work is also a way of registering a heritage that is  slowly disappearing and a medium to bring these places back to life. Inspired  by the art and ideas of the Pre-Raphaelites, the Decadents, the Symbolists, the Aesthetes, and often  by forgotten female characters, who were part of these movements.

Not only does she  look for these derelict places, sometimes she also creates her own scenes from  home. She captures her images on film photography and makes the artistic  direction of most of her projects. Her work has been exhibited and published in  various national and international media.

Les fotografies d’Helena Aguilar Mayans, inspirades en l’estètica del segle XIX, atrapen la nostra ànima. Les protagonistes, heroïnes de la modernitat, es voltegen de papallones, símbols de Psique, de l’oníric i l’inconscient. Éssers solitaris, abstrets o malenconiosos encarnen tot allò que és ideal i abstracte, com el somieig. Però tanmateix aquestes dones representen l’apoderament dels personatges femenins de les novel·les de les germanes Brönte, Jane Austen o George Eliot, en la seva rebel·lió contra la tirania victoriana, des de la passió i la lluita pels drets individuals; són personatges i a la vegada autores de la seva pròpia història.

Text in catalan, by Pere Parramon and Laura Cornejo.


"The 19th Julia Margaret Cameron Award for Women Photographers exhibition", collective exhibition, FotoNostrum gallery (Barcelona) (2023)

"Naturalezas Contradictorias" Premio Internacional de Fotografía E CA Espai d’Art Contemporani Riba-Roja de Túria, collective exhibition, Riba-Roja de Túria (Valencia) (2022)

"Nostàlgia Imperfecta" solo exhibition, Tres-e-u gallery, Vic (Barcelona) (2022)

“Dones Fotògrafes”  collective exhibition, Visual Korner, Barcelona (2021)

"ImageNation - Paris Photo Off 2019" collective exhibition, Galerie Joseph le Marais, Paris (2019)

"Dreamers of Decadence" solo exhibition, Casa museu Cal Gerrer - Fundació Cabanas, Sant Cugat del Vallès (Barcelona) (2019)

"Dreamers of Decadence" solo exhibition, Visual Korner, Barcelona (2018)

"Dreamers of Decadence" esglèsia vella de Castefollit de la Roca (Girona), during Olot Fotografia (2018)

"Let me grab your soul away" solo exhibition curated by Laura Cornejo and Pere Parramon, Les Bernardes, Salt (Girona) (2017)

"Remembrança" solo exhibition, Casa de Cultura de Sant Cugat del Vallés, Sant Cugat (Barcelona). (2017)

"On Wuthering Heights" solo exhibition during BFOTO Festival, Librería Ibor, Barbastro (Spain). (2017)

"Remembrança" solo exhibition, Can Trincheria, Olot (Girona) (2016)

"SEITIES STUDIO: Exhibition at BRAVA BISTRO", Brava Bistro, Calgary (2014)

"SEITIES THEME ICON Publication Launch + Exhibition", Shelf life books, Calgary (2014)

“Heptagone” collective exhibition, La Maison du Canal, Paris (2014)

"Ennéagone" collective exhibition during les Rencontres Photographiques du 10ème, La Maison du Canal, Paris (2013)

“Estudio 120m” collective exhibition, Würth museum, la Rioja (2013)

Biennal d'Art jove, collective exhibition, Acadèmia de Belles Arts de Sabadell fundació privada, Sabadell (Barcelona) (2013)

"Patrim 12" collective exhibition, Espai Volart, Fundació Vila Casas, Barcelona (2013)

"Mysterious Visions: Dreams, Fantasies and Mirages", collective exhibition, PhotoPlace Gallery, Vermont (2013)

"Paramnèsia" solo exhibition, Claustres del Carme, Olot, during "Olot Fotografia", Olot (Girona) (2012)

"S/T'12" collective exhibition, University of Barcelona, Barcelona (2012)

"Foto/Grafia/Lith", collective exhibition, University of Barcelona, Barcelona (2010)

Prizes and mentions

ND Awards, 2nd place in special - analog / film (2023)

20th Julia Margaret Cameron Award for Women Photographers, winner of single image in Fine Art category (2023)

19th Julia Margaret Cameron Award for Women Photographers, Honorable mention  in Fine Art (2022)

Finalist of  "Naturalezas Contradictorias" Premio Internacional de Fotografía E CA Espai d’Art Contemporani Riba-Roja de Túria (2022)

Finalist of the  Inprint Beautiful Bizarre Art Prize Photography Award (2022)

Winner of the local prize from the contest Educant la Mirada de Foto Platja d'Aro (2021)

SIENA Creative Photo Awards, commended in Conceptual (2021)

FAPA Fine Art Photography Awards, Nominee in Open theme. (2021)

ND Awards, Honorable Mention in Fine Art: Conceptual category. (2020)

FAPA Fine Art Photography Awards, 2nd place in Open theme. (2020)

IPA International Photography Awards, 3rd place in Analog and Fine Art. (2019)

Winner of Lomography The Urban Explorers Award. (2019)

Finalist of the Barcelona International Photography Awards BIPA. (2019)

1st prize of IV Beca Joan Cabanas Alibau de fotografia. (2018)

Published/online features/interviews

"Boek Visual" en La aventura del saber RTVE (2022)

"Lomography.com": Helena Aguilar Mayans and her Timeless Portraits with Lomography Films, interview, (2021) 

"ENCHANTED LIVING" The Romantics issue #53 (2020-21), PRINT

"The Analog Women": Helena Aguilar Mayans’ portal to times that are long gone, interview, (2020)

"Flippity Flop": La belleza de los espacios olvidados sin tiempo, interview, (2020)

"Unquiet things": "Beauty In The Mysterious And Pleasure In The Passage Of Time: The Photography Of Helena Aguilar Mayans", interview, (2020)

"ENCHANTEDLIVING" The Pre-Raphaelite issue #50 (2020-

"ENCHANTED LIVING"  The Witch issue #48, (2019), PRINT

"ENCHANTED LIVING"  Art Nouveau issue #47, (2019), PRINT

" El Fuego" second issue (2017), PRINT

"ENCHANTED LIVING"  Practical Magic issue #40, (2017), PRINT

" El Fuego" first issue (2016), PRINT



“SHOTS Magazine” Summer Issue, no. 124 (2014) PRINT

“IMAGINED REALITIES catalogue” (2014), PRINT

“ND Gallery” (2014)

“Bleaq.” (2013) interview

"Photo VOGUE Italia" (2013 - currently)

"photographyblogger.net" (2013)

“Mysterious Visions: Dreams, Fantasies and Mirages catalogue” (2013), PRINT

"Sciences Occultes" #1 The fall issue (2012), PRINT

For more information regarding my work, or just to say hello, feel free to send a message.

For Fine Art/collector prints and other inquiries you can visit my store or send a message to: info@helenaaguilarmayans.com / h.aguilar.mayans@gmail.com or use the contact form.

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