The Raft of the Maritsa / Plovdiv 2019
I came to Plovdiv in the framework of the Adata аrtists residency. What seemed the most interesting to me was the river and its landscape. So this wild river passing through a European city. You don’t find a river like this in many cities, normally they’re canalized, or put together for boats. The painting, in my opinion represents more the society or the way leaving the sinking ship and building something out of what we have to survive and then ending up eating each other is kind of symbolic for the times we’re living in right now. And using this as a metaphor to put it into the context of Plovdiv, and getting attention through this, it was a good way to resume the whole concept in one image and to show it beforehand and make it as a let’s say, a sketch of this raft project. I had a few views in my head and also on my computer because generally, when I sketch something out or plan something well i use my 3D software to prove my thoughts. Because what you think is often not so correct or the estimation is a bit wacky. We looked at the river, we looked at the way we’re gonna go through the river, the different channels under the bridges where there’s difficulties with rocks, with the stream. So we had to downsize it a little bit. We had some bottles donated from different friends, we had some canisters donated from Emil. (Emil Mirazchiev: Flat washer, nut.) From the river which we saw during the rafting, it’s even more beautiful than just walking past because you barely see any buildings around. It really feels like you’re in another world. We also got to see two, or maybe even three of the islands on the river itself. They’re very small, but one we explored out of curiosity, we found some artifacts there. What we could carry and what would fit on the raft, we would take it, so at least that’s a way because those islands are not reachable without a boat or something that floats. But once we were on the way, it was okay for the moment until we reached some currant with rocks in between and well, we crashed into some rocks because we tried the ‘rafting version’, so the faster you go, the better you control the raft. Which was okay until the point when we hit a rock and the thing just came apart, at least on one side. So next step was, okay, everybody down, keep calm, this thing is still floating, at least on one side, so let’s balance it, get it straight, try to go to the nearest shallow spot or a beach and fix the whole thing with what we had on board in a MacGyver kind of way, like rope, knife, duct tape. That was another journey, when we landed on the island and fixed our raft and continued, and that was part of the adventure. It’s very symbolic, it was wild, and beautiful, and rugged, and hard to get through, and difficult at times, but you know, this is the river and this is how it lives. And people realizing their life dreams of finally jumping into the Maritsa river. The idea was going down to Adata island – in the best case. Where we had this event planned with Az, Ti, Plovdiv. Together we would engage in cleaning up this nice area just in front of Adata island. It was possible for people to take a small tour on the raft infront of Adata island and experience the floating themselves and also this view that you get from the river.