Skip to main content
Graphic Design

Maya Gulieva

I inhabit memories and voices, found and inherited (notably my nan, rotting compost, an IKEA catalog & Flashbacks of U) to make vivid and sometimes visible a world already felt, yet uncertain. Working primarily with post-Soviet life-writing and auto-fiction, I collect, translate and re-imagine personal shadows, seeing voice as a vessel for human stories. Writing shapes and expands my practice, translating into film, curation, photography and design.

I graduated from BFA Fine Art at the Ruskin School of Art, University of Oxford in 2017, and was selected for BBH's Homegrown post-graduate internship in 2018.

Collaborations & recent works:

Co-curator of Terminal with Louise Gholam, 2021

Contributing writer for ARC: Proxyerotics, 2021

Co-designer and writer for Fugitive Voices lecture series started by Eleni Ikoniadou, with Konstantina Benaki Chatzispasou, Myrna Marianovits, Vicky Evans, Phoebe Hayes, Andrea Siso, Can Yang, Oct 2020 - Apr 2021

Co-author, designer and writer of Cold Swimmers with Camille Le Flem and Rocco Punghellini, 2020

Co-designer and art director of ARC: The Dirty Issue for RCA MA Writing 2020 with William Jacobson and Max Köhler, 2020

Contributor to online exhibition, Typographic Singularity, 2020

I am always looking for new collaborations with writers, designers, film-makers and other artists, so please don't hesitate to get in touch.

What I’d like to say to you feels like a long story. A brewing one too. It is much to do with what we call “a practice”. You see, I’ve always struggled to put it into words. At the moment, it is life-writing. It can also be voice, if it must be heard. Perhaps, it isn’t it at all — could it be she?

She is an even longer story. She’s always dreamed of a lemon orchard, so she planted a lemon pip on new soil, and talked the lemons into growing. She remembers, still covered in salt from the sea, packing into a steaming tram like sardines, and giggling. She dwelled in many shells — accountant, wife, khanum, comrade, refugee, grandmother, machine. She carried them: some she could pack into a suitcase, she lost most and gave away the others, whilst few are still being written. She is a draft who lived a hope that one day, life could be re-written. In words, it felt like she was for the first time.

Written on the 37 to Peckham, between Battersea Bridge and Solon Road — the only route deemed "essential" for travel in my circumstance.

Bus Story 2 (A Ticket Story)
Found National Rail ticket
pseudonym /ˈsjuːdənɪm/ — Photo-etching 75x49cm
Proxyerotics launch
Flashbacks of U (#1-10) laid out in ARC:Proxyerotics Issue 5: Linger

ARC: Proxyerotics was born from a need to acknowledge the fragmented. A desire to destabilise the ‘norm’ and conventional practices, such as what a publication must look like and how we define identity through the multi-platform to question linear ways of thinking. Proxyerotics is ever-shifting- a force of division and unification, a primordial desire to verbalise the unpronounceable - the space between- in a sense. It is open to interpretation, as ‘Proxyerotics’ is newly coined.

Flashbacks of U (#1-10), an experimental auto-fiction, was selected for print in ARC: Proxyerotics Issue 5: Linger

With special thanks to Saumya Sharma for inspiring conversation, editorial advice and believing in my version of Proxyerotics.

Read more

Invitation to TERMINAL — Visual Communication Satellite Show happening on 27-30 June at the Ugly Duck, 49 Tanner St., London, SE1 3PL
Curatorial brochure, side A. — Fold-out leaflet for TERMINAL
Curatorial Essay on brochure side B. — Fold-out leaflet for TERMINAL — When Terminal: What is Transit after 18 Months of Standstill? Written by Maya Gulieva & Louise Gholam
process shots — left - Mirna measuring a structure for the 'Vestibule zone' (image by Daniel Johns) right - Maya and Louise working on floor plans, exhibition broshure and drafting the curatorial essay (image by Andrew Brown)
Tables, fixture-free joints and wooden frame prototypes. *Images by Daniel Johns — TERMINAL features a series of custom-made furniture pieces made by Myrna Marianovits and Dan Johns, inspired by the concept of "essentials", accommodating the needs of students zone-by-zone. Each piece can be intuitively assembled by anyone, without tools. For the event Myrna and Dan designed a set of 23 tables (two sizes), 3 libraries (two sizes), 16 chairs, 4 wooden frames and a 5x3m multi-level sitting for the pastime zone, Bus Stop.

The Satellite Event will be happening at the Ugly Duck, 49 Tanner st, London Sun 27 - Wed 30 June. Everyone welcome, please book a slot via Eventbrite link below

Role: Co-curator and Coordinator


Exhibition (Visual Communications Satellite Event)


55 artists, Ugly Duck, 49 Tanner st, London, Sun 27-Wed 30 June
18.11.2020 - designed by Phoebe Hayes and Vicky Evans
18.12.20 - written with Louise Gholam
21.10.2020 - designed with Konstantina Benaki Chatzispasou

"What you do with other people... talking and walking around with other people, working, dancing, suffering, some irreducible convergence of all three, held under the name of speculative practice." — Fred Moten and Stefano Harney, 2013

Fugitive Voices, led by Eleni Ikoniadou, is a series of conversations dedicated to studying alternative types of knowledge and communication that go beyond a culture founded in the European cogito. Read more

Between November 2020 - April 2021, I had the opportunity to be part of the Fugitive Voices team, designing, editing for and writing about the visiting lecturers (Abbas Zahedi, Elizabeth Price, Ifeanyi Awachie, Hamja Ahsan, Sung Tieu, Sophie Lewis, Banu Cenetoglu and more), whilst unpacking the notion of "fugitivity" — a concept that signals a divergence, a wandering, 'waywardness' from a specific social trajectory — and how it is embodied through a multitude of experimental practices.

Read more