Old School Art Residency in Gorna Lipnitsa: the end as a beginning

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This is a small selection of the work I completed at the Old School Art Residency. Since the theme was based on legends about the end of the world interpreted as a beginning, I used expired film from a country that no longer exists (East Germany) and expired paper from now privatized companies. The images I made show archetypal vignettes representing our expectations and anxieties related to endings and beginnings.

I used Foma document fiber based paper – it came in an unsealed Foma box I purchased second hand from a old local photographer, but there were two different packages in the box, so it could’ve been anything. Thin and easily crinkled, I embraced it for what it was instead of fighting it to make a perfect precision print. Yes, it tuned out to be heavily fogged in certain strategic areas. The result is images with eerie traces of a ghost presence with an old, distressed look. This medium was my statement on the new life of expired materials, ideas and memories.

All images feature local people and realities.  One was a gesture of warning by a local priest shot during a field mass. Another was a pose by a new friend of mine, the local librarian, in the beautiful village church in a traditional dress. Her name means “Hope” which, we agreed, fits beautifully with the idea of the picture. The third one was of a fellow residency artist on a bed that really stayed outside in the school yard through the duration of the residency.

My makeshift “darkroom” wasn’t really dark – it had huge beautiful windows and I could work there only at night – and even that was tricky, since street lights were coming through the windows. It was put together for me by the efforts and grace of Rosen Vergilov, the photography host at the residency.
Exhibit space for the first exhibition was the Old School grounds. This will be the first of a series of exhibits presenting the work of all artists. Attendance was exceptional – probably more than a hundred people from the village and their guests came by to see it. It was wonderful to see how invested they felt in their project.
If you are interested in the residency, don’t hesitate to contact me for more feedback about how it went.
This project wouldn’t be possible without the enthusiastic effort of the organizers, my sister, who hosted me during my long visit in Bulgaria, and my husband, for his encouragement. Thank you 🙂

4 responses to “Old School Art Residency in Gorna Lipnitsa: the end as a beginning

  1. You are right, this time it is a long waiting…
    However, looking at your beautiful work, I’m very happy you’ve taken this opportunity!
    Come back soon, I’m missing you.
    Your husband

  2. Grazie, Amore 🙂

  3. Pingback: Certo-phot in the field: what the camera gave back | Parasol Photography

  4. Victoria Bakalova-McCoy

    Prekrasni neshta, talantlivi sme -bulgarite i prekrasna e Bulgaria

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