About Me

At the beginning was a movement, a gesture, a sweeping motion – of my four-year old body to morph myself into the ballet slippers and into the world of dance. Later studying ballet at the National Theatre in Prague my path in life was set – so, I thought. After a knee injury and a subsequent slow acceptation that no operation will perform miracles to bring me back to dance, I was forced to find a new direction and purpose.

Always encouraged by my family to appreciate art in many forms and surrounded by the architectural beauty of old Prague, I was enchanted with art history tangible results of the movement depicted in brush strokes or delicate lines of a pencil.

Leaving Prague in former Czechoslovakia behind and confronted with different cities, countries, and continents I knew the movement still lived in me and there was the ever present need to express it. Subconsciously, I picked up the magic black box to catch the fleetingness of that movement inside and around me. That’s how I became photographer.

Diploma in Professional Photography, Langara College, graduated 1995
Bachelor Degree (Major Photography), Emily Carr University, graduated 2006
Master Degree on scholarship, Contemporary Fine Arts Academy, Milan, Italy graduated 2008
Internship at Magnum Photos Agency in Paris, France – cooperation with Josef Koudelka on his catalogue raisonné

Teaching at Shadbolt Centre for the Arts in Burnaby since 2009
Teaching at Focal Point since 2009 until 2012
Teaching at Emily Carr University continuing studies since 2011
Teaching at Simon Fraser University continuing studies since 2012

And I realized that no degree and no diploma would make you a photographer.
I am a street photographer who is chasing the dance of life on the streets. I am preserving forever the steps, the gestures, the gazes of the passer-bys enveloped in light with humble recognition that life is a constant flow – a movement in light.


“Luctor et Emergo” is a life-long street photography project.

In Latin it means “I struggle and I overcome” – a motto of all passers-bys whom I photograph.
Why to photograph the world around us? Why capture those minute events we carry inside until we die? The gaze of someone in the crowd, the butterflies in the stomach when seeing someone who we care about, reading a sign on the street, hearing a whistle of a passing train, witnessing the gestures of an arguing couple in the park – all this can be in one photograph, in one image, which stops the time to fool the fleetingness of everything.

My attempt to capture the evanescing instant  is perhaps the need to grasp the feelings, the notions of moments, which are gone forever and the desire to preserve the tangible proofs of being alive. It is everything about the Time and the conscious recognition that nothing, absolutely nothing lasts. The Time creates those moments and at the same time terminates them.

I lived and photographed in many cities and I emphasize the common in our existence rather than differences of places.
I use analog photography for my B&W images and I develop, print and selenium tone all my photographs. They are printed on archival fiber paper.

None of my B&W images were cropped.

I’m the time of hollow steps
on the darkened path behind my dreams

I’m the time inside a broken clock
with holes into the futile past

I’m the time whose breath I have to catch
in the beating chest of silent sobs

I’m the time who saw your hands of child
touching the toy of naked hope

You stand still and I will move
You will move and I will run

© text Vendula Ralkova