Watertower Arts Fest Bulgaria!

by decoratedyak

Back from a whirlwind amazing trip to Bulgaria for the Watertower Arts Festival in Sofia curated by the delightful Nia Pushkarova! (http://watertowerartfest.com/en/) Had an incredible week installing 2 site-specific works (one in the historical Watertower for which the festival gets its name, and one at the historical Kazichene royal train station) and meeting / experiencing the work of the other incredible participating artists. The theme of the show (and the festival in general) was ‘Temporarily Protected Spaces.’ There were several different venues for exhibitions which were all spaces that were once of historical value (but have since been abandoned) which artists were invited to do site-specific installations and performances in.  These spaces were the perfect venue for my ongoing ‘Home-land’ project- a series of embroidery pattern installations created in dirt on building exteriors. The patterns for these particular pieces were taken from Bulgarian embroidery patterning, which has some truly spectacular shapes! Here are the final images of each piece:

inside the watertower:

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and outside of Kazichene station:
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And here are some images from the process of making these pieces, as well as the festival itself:

the famous watertower!

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the tracks to Kazichene Station:
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Dirt installations are dirty work…IMG_0489 IMG_0490

installing outside of Kazichene:

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Installing in the watertower:
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Bulgarian breakfast!!
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My favorite ladies Deni (festival designer) and Sana (fellow festival artist) and me:

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Me and my lovely ‘assistant’ Philipp:
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There were massive protests all week of the festval, which we (of course!) could not help but get involved in.. (just a little bit!):

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Watertower opening reception:

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Some of my favorite pieces from other artists were: the glass installation at Kazichene by Jan Doms and Olga Doreva:

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the campsite installation by the Norwegian Bunch:
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And large charcoal works on paper by the talented Yujin Lee:

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and of course as any self-respecting art festival requires bonding between fellow artists/ curators… there was a bit of debauchery to be had throughout the week (as mandatory quality time spent with the other amazing festival participants):IMG_0665

and even a BBQ thrown by the generous and wonderful crew at the Lavele Hostel (which was the main place artists stayed.. and I would HIGHLY  recommend to anyone traveling through Sofia!

http://www.lavelehostel.com/):

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Overall a fantastic experience more than I could have ever imagined! Cannot wait to get back to Sofia again! Hopefully will be able to participate in the festival next year!!

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