New book from Bela Rechka
“How to make a bell” (a guidebook) has been published by Janet 45 publishing house.
The book was compiled by Diana Ivanova for New Culture Factory, Bulgaria. This is an unusual guidebook you hardly could find anywhere. After reading it, you will have a feeling to have read a meditation guidebook or elementary theory of music.
Investigating the case with the stolen bell of the village of Gorna Bela Rechka, a village in the mountains of North-Western Bulgaria and home of the ‘Goatmilk Festival’, the book pays attention to the variety of stories among the people in the village about the old bell and its disappearance. It places this in the context of the bigger picture - the phenomenon of stolen bells in Bulgaria in the last decade (a very surprising in itself and still not understood phenomenon) - and reveals some of the secrets of the oldest bell casters in Bulgaria, the Plovdiv masters Veleganov. You could learn, for example, that the technology has never been written down. “Everything is oral and has been handed down by word of mouth. That’s why there is no leaking of information.” Also – you learn that each bell is centered on some tone. The bigger the bell, the lower the tone. 60 kg is centered somewhere around E. 100 kg is centered somewhere around C.
This is a book about understanding our own experience in rebuilding lost traditional symbols of Bulgarian culture in the modern European context. Because the question actually is - as Austrian psychoanalyst Elisabeth Vykoukal puts it in the book - can we find new ways to be together? Because we all live in times where there are no more bells to call us to meet.
The book combines text and photography and is designed by Raycho Stanev, who received the Special Award of the Union of Bulgarian Artists in 2008 (during the first Biennale of Bulgarian design in Sofia) for the graphic design and logo of the project “The Bell of Bela Rechka”.
Painting Bela Rechka
Based on an idea by Brendan Jackson (who participated in the Goatmilk Festival the previous year), Laundry bursary artist Simon Walker took participants on a journey through the village on Sunday afternoon.
Participants were given packs of 10 line drawn images of views around the village, based on photographs made by Paulina Paga. The idea was to find the spot in the village and use the watercolour paints/pencils provided to colour the images. Over 30 people of all ages got involved, sharing packs as well as some people choosing their favourite picture to paint. Each image was then displayed outside the village’s old school where people discussed the different interpretations of the same images. This also encouraged others to get involved.