On Water and Light

Julija Goyd’s (Berlin, Germany) photography captures light in water.

I’ve always been interested in the body and how it is represented in the arts. From an early age, I went to a professional dancing school in Vilnius (Lithuania). All I dreamt of was dance. But when I grew older my dance teacher told me that I was not physically suited to becoming a dancer – I was simply growing too tall. I had to decide very quickly what my profession was going to be. People convinced me to study economics.

To begin with, my career was very exciting. I still remember those days as if it were some kind of movie. It was a period of sudden economic growth in Lithuania. The country was flourishing. I found myself dealing with important and interesting topics in business management and my work gave me an intense sense of accomplishment. It took me four years of working in finance to realise I actually wanted something completely different.

I was very lucky that around the same time, just by chance, I was offered two main female roles in two Lithuanian feature films. It was only during that transition period that I realised my interest in film and images.  I bought a camera and have been making my way with it until now. I settled in Berlin and have dedicated myself to photography and filmmaking since 2010.

My early practises and works balance the natural decay of bodies with its exploitation within social and economic boundaries. Lately my focus has shifted more towards abstract representations, involving subjects of eroticism and studies of nature, mainly focusing on subject of water.

I can stare at water for hours. It hypnotises me.

Water is about 800 times more dense higher than air. It slows the speed of light and bends its rays. This is called the refraction effect. By placing a beam of light underneath the water surface, it is quite astonishing to see such a clear separation line between 2 completely different worlds – the space we live in and the space underwater, which is so foreign to our survival.

I’m careful not to spoil my interest in water with convoluted interpretations. Water is imbued with connotations of eroticism and transcendence anyway, and I am happy if I manage to capture that in my work, but I try to stay open to other meanings and, if possible, dive even deeper into exploring its nature as a physical space.

This series investigates the separation and alienation of space. I placed a source of light under the water’s surface.

A beam of light for boundary sight (2016-2018)


For this series I used two sources of light: one above and one below the surface of water, both covered with different colour filters.


See more on Julija’s Instagram.

Julija Goyd (Berlin)

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