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Ritual Art (International Artist-in-Residence Event at Gorna Lipnitsa, Bulgaria)

The Old School, Gorna Lipnitsa

The Old School residency is situated in Gorna Lipnitsa village, Pavlikeni municipality, Veliko Tarnovo region. The building of the residency was a school in the past. The residency provides workspace for the participating artists - 6 indoor workshops and a photo studio, as well as open air space - the yard of the school, a movie and concert salon. We also provide accommodation places for participants - 4 rooms in the former kindergarten and guest houses in the village as well.


The residency is held once a year - usually during the summer, for 8-10 days. The artists are selected by a jury. The artists could apply for the following disciplines: painting, wood sculpture, photography, visual arts and installations, mural, music, performance, short film.


The mission of the residency is to bring the modern art and artists back to the nature and village way of life. Therefore our idea is by gathering Bulgarian and foreign artists in such kind of place to give them the opportunity to find inspiration and collaborate with the local community. They are free to explore this different village life and they could make it an object of their art process.


All activities of the residency are conceptual. There are previously prepared themes for work connected with the local folklore, myths and culture and at the same time we try to mix time, space and art of all kinds. The residency has a festival character and we prepare a parallel program with different events connected with the main theme: concerts, performances, films. The work of the artists and the events of the parallel program are open for visitors and the final result of the residence is a project of interaction and collaboration between artists and   local people.


During the past four editions of the residency we have worked also with children from the village because we think that by doing this we could spread knowledge and make art more popular and closer to them.     




Phone: +359 886 719 054

Email: oldschoolresidence@gmail.com

Website: http://www.gornalipnitsa.com.bg/art-residence


The Old School Entrance.

Photo: Rosen Vergilov

The fourth edition of The Old School residency took place in Gorna Lipnitsa from 16 to 25 August 2013. This year the theme of the residency was Ritual art. The work of the artists was based on previously prepared materials which represented different rituals - folkloristic, religious, occult, etc. In essence the ritual is an action or series of actions aimed at achievingparticular goal. The purpose of the ritual art is to stimulate the artist to create a work using the techniques of the ritual. Every action in this process has its own meaning and should be done in strictly observed rules. The final result is to achieve a significant public benefit.


The open call ran from 1 April to 26 May and we received over 50 applications from artists from 25 different countries. The disciplines most in demand were painting, installations and performance. The participants were selected by jury.


The selected artists were: Simone Haack (Germany), painting; Goran Pamukov (Bulgaria), painting; Damian Bumbalov (Bulgaria), painting; Jenny Haywood (UK), Mural; Alina d’Alva Duchrow (Brazil/Tunisia), installations; Daniele Villa (Italy), performance/installation; Trevor Knott (US), performance/painting and the local artists: Martin Petrov, painting; Plamen Petrov, Painting; Ivo Simeonov, installations.

A group of children from the village also took part in the residency with the assistance of artists Aneliya Ivanova and Petar Petrov.


We also organized a parallel program connected with the theme of the residency with the participation of the artists and people from the village - performance of the ancient Bulgarian ritual Nestinarstvo (fire dancing) by nestinars, sound performance etc.


The residency was closed with an exhibition, in which the works of the artists created during their stay in the village were presented. We are going to organize a presentation of the participants and their works through an online exhibition and shows in different galleries in the country as well.