Valentina Doneiko was born in Chita Oblast, Russia, in 1960. Since 1979 she lived in Riga, Latvia. She started to take photographs in the 1980s. Yet, photography became a serious passion for Valentina closer to 2002.

Since then Valentina was very active. Her photography found many admirers in various countries and over the Internet. Unfortunately, in Latvia, where the photographer lived and worked actively, her work remains virtually unknown.

Doneiko’s photographs are woven from coincidences. They are mainly perfect in composition – one can say they are easy to read and can be easily described. But only unless one peers and ponders over each photograph.


“Every day I look through hundreds of pictures. And now I “snatch out” everything, that finds my response. And what is it? What do I aspire to? Now I know that capturing an event is not enough for me. I am interested not in the bare fixation, but more in a symbolic system of signs. An artist creates his sign system, just as an architect constructs a building. After that, there can be an action, a contact. Otherwise, the image is breathless to me.”


“First of all, I’m interested in the elusive state of the unknown, the inexplicable. Say, not a bird flapping the wings, but the air movement after. I realize that connection. I have determined for myself that photography, as no other art form, has it’s effects on time. Photography doesn’t rip a piece of time, but presents it as something timeless. The degree of conditionality is so high, that an object turns into a sign. It is not a child on a picture, but a symbol of childhood.”

Valentina Doneiko passed away in 2012 after a long illness. She didn’t manage to complete a major project or publish any book. However, she left behind a wonderful archive of her photography and paintings, which still remains to be discovered by many.