The Bulgarian umbrella from the other side

28 October 2015


The Bulgarian umbrella from the other side

The Bulgarian umbrella from the other side
interactive project

Could we turn upside down the preconception the world has about Bulgaria and our own preconception about ourselves and smile at the fact that the holes in Sofia streets provide the most beautiful puddles from any other European capital and that if you pour some water inside a “Bulgarian umbrella” you will see the shiny piece of sky reflected in it.

The reference is to that sinister episode of the Bulgarian socialist history, when the dissident writer Georgui Markov was killed with an umbrella at a London bus station.

“I wanted to make an artwork representing the dramatic contrasts we, Bulgarians face everyday: between the dark, deep Balkan desperation and the beauty of the water and the sky.

The ancient Bulgarians believed that water purifies the soul.

This installation is for our souls to find a place where they can be reflected amongst the beautiful clouds and sky of Sofia”, said the artist Mariangela Anastasova, the author of the project.

Detailed description:

The Project is based on the exhibition of Mariangela Anastasova “The Sofia Puddles”, 2009.

Venue of the interactive performance: the garden of the National Library in Sofia.


Students from the Art schools and the Academy of Art invited for the performance, but also passers by who were interested to participate.

Gregor Schatz – photographer.


The artist and Rakursi Art Gallery invited students from the Academy of Art and from several schools to experiment in captivating the best reflections in the water contained in one open umbrella.

All reflections were documented with a digital camera. Then the participants chose the best reflections and the artist has printed details of them on glossy silver folio.

The next days the participants have met again to arrange the details on the inside of the umbrella

and to complete the rest of the illusion of reflection by drawing and painting with acrylic. During the day, the artists and the students created an artistic optical illusion of water reflecting the sky. Any passer had the occasion to try his talent and also to admire the beauty of Sofia sky.


For the passers by and for the young artists invited – to experience a positive and unusual vision of the city, to smile from the idea or even participate in the performance.

The present exibition shows the photographs by Gregor Schatz, who documeted the performance and the umbrellas themselves.