prehistory: This series of plastic art works, which now do not exist - they were destroied, were created in the period 2001 – 2002. However, of those works shown in the photos, only a few were made in 2001. The plastic works of art were made by baking the mould soot-absorbed dough in an oven. The idea of these sculptures arose in the process of my work as a member of the team restoring (cleaning and restoring) the murals of the church "The Assumption of Virgin Mary" in Varna, better known as "The Cathedral". My part in this project was that of an artist – since the painted layer was totally destroyed in a number of spots, it was inevitable to paint it anew. One of the stages of the restoration work was to clean the walls by absorbing the deposited soot using dough (the process is the same as if working with bread eraser). Yet at the first contact with the material, I realized that in fact the soot, that I was collecting, was the only material remnants of the prayers, which believers offered to God in the course of 50 years. (The mural painting of the church was completed in 1951 and since then it had never been cleaned.) Kneading this material (dough blackened with soot) with my hands I decided to use it, as it had good plastic qualities and I was enjoying working with it. Subsequently, I developed my idea into a conception, which I present below in brief.
concept: Everyone possesses mental, vital, emotional, spiritual and other powers, which he/she renders while offering his/her prayers and the sincerer the prayer, the stronger the power charge of the prayer. Part of that power is transformed by means of the burning candles (being indispensable part of the prayer in a Christian church) and accumulated in the soot, which then is deposited on the walls. As I mentioned already, it represents the only material remnant of this spiritual in its essence act. Collecting the soot in the dough, the latter converts into a new material, accumulating the remnants of the power charge of the prayers offered by all the people who visited the church in the course of 50 years. It is curious enough that this period of time coincides with the communist regime of ruling, which preached negative attitude to religion. Thus, this is a sort of a guarantee that the energy concentrate, which I collected, is an output of the prayers sincerely rendered by genuine believers. So, the plastic works of art, which I mould in this particular material, and their outer appearance, being an integral part of and in harmony with my conception, transform into a type of accumulators of emotional and spiritual energy as well as into power conductors for direct link between spectator and God. In this way, I render material expression of the prayers of all those people and I rather rise human spirit to Heaven, than disgracing God to the level of human beings. Proceeding from ritual breads, which are made in Bulgaria and in the neighbouring geographical region, I arrived at a more primary and emotional form, which, I later realized, was strongly influenced also by the prehistoric dolmens (cromlechs). The latter, in my opinion, were the first material expression of man's belief in God. Actually, I am convinced that the dolmens were meditative chambers, while most of the scholars believe they had funeral–ritual function. Anyway, in both cases the relationship to God is essential. Each particular object could be regarded as an individual plastic piece of art and in fact some of these objects have individual titles but all objects exhibited together, as a whole, represent an integral work of art entitled: "Material Expression of Prayer, or Quintessence of Suffering".
This object has been exhibited at:
June 2002 – Solo exhibition MATERIAL EXPRESSION OF PRAYER, OR QUINTESSENCE OF SUFFERING, (objects of black dough), Art Gallery Artin, Varna, BULGARIA