Pepe, the Mountain Guardian, 2019
Deep in the woods you find a clearing, where standing tall the Guardian of the mountain’s Spirit breaths.
I propose to build a site specific totem-like sculpture from a one of the mountains dead trees. Debarked and carved: the tree trunk will depict symbols from Bulgarian mythology- patterns researched from Plovdiv’s ethnographic museum. This totem will be fabricated in the weeks running up to the festival. Using locally sourced materials (wood, a dead tree, from the mountains) the land art will stand all year round.
Working with a sites specific dead tree as material to transform the trunk into a living work. A site where through carving the tree’s trunk we locate their animistic character to add to the magic and ritualistic power of the meadows in the mountains festival.
The totem will have a mixture of Kukeri- inspired faces, and recognisable symbolic patterns of Bulgaria.
Alongside this sculpture, to celebrate the the festival’s magic and fantastical landscape land, I propose a devised Mask performance: teaming up with storytellers and performers to awaken the guardian of the woods and invite the spirit of the land into the community. Through participatory performance and ritual it would be fantastic to explore the themes of animism, mythology, and ritual with the use of carved masks on Friday night and throughout the festival at the site of the totem.
Meadows in the Mountains’ site offers the perfect location for a wooden carved sculpture. The festivals’ community would be a suitable audience to explore themes of animism through bulgarian mythology, ritual, and masked performance.
Carving: Up to 10 foot carved wooden Totem-like sculpture
Carvings: symbolic prints and faces, drawing from the woods’ natural curves and form, knots etc.
Ritual:Masked performance ritual: site specific performance with options of audience participation.
Depending on the sites terrain (Hard, rockey, to be discussed) different options for the Totems installation:
Options depending on site, terrain and site ground conditions: to be discussed 1) A tree carved at the site and not moved
Tree Trunk chopped down, moved and erected whole at another site- will need to be supported by either- (either dug into ground or roped down)
Built in sections: assembled at site (either dug into ground or roped down) This option will need additional material costs to secure the wood together
Option 1) will need to build a scaffold structure to carve the wood
Option 2) will need vehicle and rope to erect the sculpture, additional costs to secure in place. Foundation and secured.
Option 3) will need additional material costs to hold sculpture in place. Foundation and secured.
Sculpture 7-10 days before the festival starts
Performance 20-40 mins, Friday night with option of a participatory ritual on the night
Sculpture: (see spreadsheet)
Team of 4 designer, artists/dresser, carpenter, woodworker.
Estimated costs based on:
- Assistance needed: car, power, - Contingency costs
- Travel to the festival site from the airport
- Food and drinks tokens for the days of the performance
Examples of previous work:
- Expenses- travel, food
- Tool costs Labour costs
Examples of performance direction and ritual: