Art Tourist Commission: Euroman Tableware Ten Handmade Tablecloths, Sofia, Bulgaria PROJECT LIST

I spent three months on a residency in Sofia, Bulgaria during the spring/summer of 2007. During the first month I walked around the city getting a feel for the place and thinking about the work I wanted to make. One of the things that I loved about Bulgaria was that everything hadn't moved over to homogonised chain stores - there were wonderful small odd shops and restaraunts that could be easily missed if someone didnt take you there or you weren't looking carefully. I also found that economic transactions were a place for social encounters. Buying something in a store in Bulgaria can be maddingly slow but I soon saw the charm and quality of life in the willingness to take some time to talk. I developed close relationships with people who ran restaraunts, veg stands, and most especially a group of women who sold their exquisite needle work at an unofficial open market on Alexander Nevsky square. Inspired by the traditional embroidery designs similarity to early digital graphics I designed a tablecloth based on the arcade game Pacman but transposed it into Euroman.* The consequent tablecloth design humourously suggests a federal Pacman gobbling up as many countries as he can. I worked with the women to decide how to make the tablecloths; considering elements such as the best stitches to use and where to buy supplies while discussing the EU, creativity, and life in Bulgaria. The project ended with a celebratory dinner party

* Simon Poulter assisted with the illustrator work.

view slide show

play Euroman
review in vagabond
vasya vassileva's essay (download pdf)