Maria Elorza

Graduate, Cardiff School of art and design

Maria Elorza

Maria Elorza Saralegui, illustrator and journalist

You're being manipulated and there is nothing wrong with it


A question: what are people's ideas of truth?

A research-based project, Glimpses is an investigation into the gaps between reality, mythologies and truths. The result is a collection of artist's books.

My year-long inquiry combines reportage illustration and ideational creating and is rigourously underpinned by academic research and artists including Mireia Sallarès, Catrin Morgan, Karen Armstrong, and Lee McIntyre.

Through drawing liminal landscapes, specifically the Pheasant Island in between Spain and France, yet also other (imagined, «real», remembered) liminal scapes, Spaces of transit and suspension is a reportage project that pushes the boundaries of the discipline. I explore the personal involvement of the illustrator documenting different «realities» and raise questions on manipulative communication while at the same time challenging the nature of reportage illustration : when does it stop being («objective») journalism?

While engaging with these philosophical, political and psychological themes, it is through illustration that I make sense of the world surrounding me. Rather than a representation of conclusions, my creative practice – a combination of illustrations and words - is the embodiment of the action of researching : illustration as research.

A physical liminoid space, so relevant to the context of the current times, is created through the installation of artist’s books, inviting viewers to take time to interact with the work, to reflect on it and to question pre-established beliefs. Somewhere in-between where the mind is allowed to wonder, illustration becomes a tool to encourage conversations, understanding and empathetic reflection. The artist's books offer perhaps 'glimpses' of truth. I propose to take the audience on a journey through in-between spaces, drawing from familiar 'real' landscapes, and aim to engage the viewer with deeper questions, hoping through this to get to something deeper, close to the core of humanity.


Maria Elorza Saralegui is an illustrator, journalist and artist's book maker. Graduating with a BA in Illustration from the Cardiff School of Art and Design in 2020, her work has since been exhibited at Llantarnam Grange Arts Centre.

It is the urge of making sense of the world around us which drives her research-led projects. Sitting in between illustration and journalism, her practice currently explores the nature of uncertain truths and myths against the familiar backdrop of ‘post-truth’ and ‘alternative facts’. Nestled in between the publishing and media world, her main interests lie in culture, environment and ethics. Her books and projects aim to offer a variety of perspectives and remind the viewer that a story can be constructed from many accounts, and reality perceived from many levels.

Independent publications include The Printed Word, a visual research journal whose first issue was published in Spring 2020, and the Investigation series which compile a 9-month-long journey into myths, borders and other liminal landscapes.