Lia Nalbantidou was born/is based in Thessaloniki, Greece.
An independent photographer and practicing artist, who mentors young photographers.
She teaches at the School of Fine Arts – University of Western Macedonia in Florina, Greece.
In her late teens, she moved overseas to pursue an education in Fine Arts at the Columbus College of Art and Design in Columbus, Ohio, USA. In 1991, she got her Bachelor’s degree (BFA), majoring in Photography. Apart from her studies, meeting people from all walks of life taught her how to whisper the lines I never saw the East coast until I moved to the West from the San Diego Serenade*. Life in the Midwest was a powerful experience of immense impact. Moving eastwards, in the early ‘90s, she did internships at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C. and private art galleries in New York City.
About a decade later (2000), she was introduced to the European visual arts scene and institutions both as a resident artist at Kulturhuset USF – Bergen, the European City of Culture, and as a participant in IFU Body Academy (an international, intercultural, interdisciplinary graduate program) hosted by the University of Hannover.
Her oeuvre (photographs & photobooks) has been exhibited in Greece, Europe and North America. It is represented in private and public art collections and libraries, such as: EMST (Greek National Museum of Contemporary Art), Athens; Thessaloniki Photography Museum; Architekturbild EV, Stuttgart; Photoireland Foundation Collection, Dublin; Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Yale University; Weserburg Research Centre for Artists’ Books, Bremen and the Gulbenkian Art Library, Lisbon.
Selected Projects and Publications:
• The Secure, Private Domain of My Home 1996 -2001 - Zero to Five) photobook (Cube Art Editions, Athens: 2002) was funded by J. F. Costopoulos Foundation, Athens.
• Urban Secret Garden: why the night photobook dummy (self-published, Thessaloniki: 2013) was shortlisted for the 6th Kassel Dummy Award, Kassel, Germany.
• Urban Secret Garden: A trilogy book of photographs Link2 is a print-on-demand photobook (self-published, Thessaloniki: 2016).
• In 2019, Urban Secret Garden: A reading exhibition (co-funded by MIET – National Bank of Greece Cultural Foundation) was launched in Thessaloniki.
• In 2020, amidst the Covid-19 spring lockdown, Urban Secret Garden: A reading was exhibited in Athens at the Ileana Tounta Contemporary Art Center.
*San Diego Serenade from the 1974 album, The Heart οf Saturday Night.