Creative studio

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Sharing, transforming, and experiencing art through theater.

The project aims to break down the boundaries between research, cultural heritage, art, and social cause. Its goal is to create opportunities for Ukrainian students and youth to engage with art.

Creative Studio 1:

“Softness and Hardness” relies on the symbolic role, aesthetic possibilities, and sensory experiences when working with natural materials such as textiles and stone. It will offer training in classical techniques for designing and executing small-scale sculptural works. On the other hand, textile training will be conducted, utilizing techniques for embroidery and printing on fabric, to familiarize and train young people with traditional Bulgarian and Ukrainian ornamental and compositional forms, enabling them to apply them in their creative projects. The dialogue between the universal and the national in art nurtures the personal creative visions of the participants.

The trainers will be artists with high creative achievements and pedagogical experience: Assoc. Prof. Svilеn Kostadinov (sculptor), Assoc. Prof. Krasimira Krastanova (ethnologist and textile artist), as well as the young talent in fashion design Donika Palankova (textile, fashion, and design).

Creative Studio 2:

“Sharing the Creative Experience” provides an opportunity for all participants (authors, youth, and audience) to share their thoughts, feelings, and memories, as well as to talk about overcoming the trauma of war, compassion, peace, creativity, and the future. This studio includes Assoc. Prof. Elitsa Stoilova and Assoc. Prof. Maria Petrova (both ethnologists/anthropologists), and Assoc. Prof. Svetoslava Mancheva (ethnologist and cultural mediator).

Creative Studio 3:
“The Spectacle of Creative Experience” utilizes anthropological interviews, digital documentation forms, and storytelling approaches to create a performance with the innovative methods of Anthropological Theater. Anthropological interviews and documentary recordings from the creative process will be used to create the script, but will also be included in the scenography. This will recreate the studio environment, the creative atmosphere, the feelings, and experiences during sculpture and textile sessions and interpret the connection between the personal and the universal in art.

The main role will be played by the Theater of Young Actor TEATR U.A. under the direction of Oleksandr Hryhoriev and Olena Nesmyan, as well as the participation of Zoya Kapon – a Bulgarian actress, educator, and experimenter in theater. They will create a spectacle in which all participants and their viewpoints will feel represented.

Svilen Kostadinov - Sculptor - Biographical Information

Svilen Kostadinov was born in 1955. In 1973, he completed his secondary education with a specialization in restoration and conservation of cultural monuments in Plovdiv. In 1978, he graduated with a degree in sculpture from the class of Panayot Dimitrov at the University of Veliko Tarnovo “St. St. Cyril and Methodius”.
From 1978 to 1981, Svilen Kostadinov taught visual arts at the “Geo Milev” Primary School in Plovdiv. From 1982 to 2002, he worked as a freelance sculptor. From 2002 to 2023, he taught sculpture at the Academy of Music, Theater, and Fine Arts in Plovdiv, where he became an associate professor in sculpture in 2008.
During these years, Svilen Kostadinov developed an active artistic practice. He participated in numerous solo and group art exhibitions in Bulgaria and abroad. He took part in 11 sculpture symposiums in Bulgaria, Italy, Turkey, the Netherlands, Germany, and France. He realized 12 sculptures – compositions and portraits in public spaces in Plovdiv and the region, Sofia, Okayama – Japan, and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. From 1997 to 2000, he reconstructed three destroyed monuments in the urban space of Plovdiv – the monument “V. Petleshkov”, the monument “Anton Bezenshek”, and the monument “Hr. Danov” according to his project with the assistance of the Swiss foundation PROHELVECIA.
In parallel with his artistic and teaching activities, for nearly 35 years Svilen Kostadinov participated in a restoration team for stone and architectural sculpture objects in Plovdiv, Sofia, Stara Zagora, Perperikon, Haskovo, and others.

Krasimira Krastanova

Krasimira Krastanova was born in 1955. In 1973, she completed her secondary education with a specialization in Restoration and Conservation of Cultural Monuments in Plovdiv. In 1980, she graduated with a degree in History with a profile in Ethnography from Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”. In 1987, she defended her doctoral dissertation titled “Traditional Home Weaving – Tools and Technology” and worked at the Institute of Ethnology and Folklore Studies with Ethnographic Museum at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences in Sofia. Since 2005, after a competition, she has held the academic position of “associate professor”. She has had specializations in Tbilisi, Kiev, Moscow, Bucharest, and Paris. She has worked on national and international projects related to cultural heritage, material culture, and identity. As a result of her research activities, she has published the books “The Golden Thread” and “Stoina Krastanova – Kaka”, “Weaving Dreams”, presenting traditional and authorial textiles and technology, as well as numerous studies and articles.

In 1983, she successfully passed an examination before the commission in the “Textiles” section of the Union of Master Craftsmen of Folk Art and became a master – textile artist. She participated in group exhibitions in Bulgaria and abroad, receiving certificates for her participation.

In 2016, together with Svilen Kostadinov, she established the “Stoina Krastanova” Foundation for Public Benefit. It is registered in the registry of cultural organizations of the Ministry of Culture. The foundation received accreditation from UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage. It has implemented more than 11 individual projects, financed on a competitive basis by the Municipality of Plovdiv for participation in the Calendar of Cultural Events, the National Culture Fund, the Active Citizens Fund, and other national and international programs.

Special emphasis is placed on projects supporting Ukrainian refugees in Bulgaria such as “Together and Equal: The Rights of Refugees and Asylum Seekers”, “Life with Music”, and this year – “Sharing, Transforming, and Experiencing Art through Theater”, which are supported by the “Ukraine Support and Renovation” Foundation.

Donika Palankova

Donika Palankova graduated with a bachelor’s degree in “Clothing Design” from the National Academy of Art in Sofia under the guidance of Professor Asen Diamandiev. Currently, she is pursuing her education in the same academy in the master’s program “Fashion Design”.

Her main interests lie in the field of fashion and conceptual design and the juxtaposition between them. Her love for experimenting with textile manipulation, creating avant-garde forms in clothing silhouettes, is the primary means of expression in her work.

She participates in numerous fashion-related competitions and events.

In 2023, she was a finalist in the “Tailor your mind” competition, Textailor Expo, Plovdiv, for young designers.

In 2023, she participated in the “Mad Mood Milano Fashion Week Seeks Bulgarian Talents” fashion show in Sofia.

In 2022, she participated in the international fashion show “Sotto il Cielo di Genzano 2022” in Rome.

In 2022, she participated in an event themed “Fashion and Architecture” organized by the Ivan Asen 22 Foundation in Sofia.