Aviya Wyse was born in 1988 in Haifa, Israel, to British parents. While studying at the Wizo NB Haifa Academy of Design and Education, she won both the Sharett Scholarship from the America-Israel Cultural foundation and the Shpilman Institute for Photography Award. Wyse’s art deals with the synergy between life and death. With her analogue photographic technique she creates installations that construct an archive of bodies with which she commemorates the lives of the living. Since graduating in 2013, Wyse’s art has been exhibited at the Mediations Biennale in Poznan, PINK CUBE in Oslo, TJ Boulting in London, and Compagnietheater in Amsterdam, among others. Her work was also featured in Girl on Girl: Art and Photography in the Age of the Female Gaze by Charlotte Jansen, and on the covers of Numero Magazine and Fraulein Magazine. In 2018, Vogue Magazine named her as one of the 100 most inspiring artists of the year, and in 2019 she was selected by Elephant Magazine as one of its rising art stars.
Wyse’s ongoing series of portraits, now over a decade old, explores the synergy between life and death. Since her mother passed away when she was 17, during which time she and her family were the primary caregivers, she has searched endlessly for female figures. Her journey began with taking photos of the women closest to her, but soon grew to encompass women she did not know – women she spotted on the street, on the bus, and in other public spaces. She was drawn to them and felt the need to photograph them in an attempt to create “iconic characters” that can be forever memorialised in the archive. This expansive collection has undergone several changes in the years since its inception. As well as the introduction of male figures, the aesthetics of the images themselves have progressed from the original monochrome palette to one that utilises colour. In a sense, as Wyse moves past the grief of losing her mother, so too does her archive, returning to life and becoming a celebration of it.