Each Monday, on the website of NEF ‘13 Century of Bulgaria’, we present one of the six nominees for the National Prize in support of young talents in the arts and science.
Text and interview: Magdalena Gigova
‘Currently, I am focused on the completion of my doctoral studies as the external defence of the work is to take place in mid-September. My other activities have been a bit sidelined as I don’t have much time left. I hope to have more freedom of action in August and to indulge in creativity’, said Denitsa Todorova exclusively for the NEF ‘13 Century of Bulgaria’ website. She is one of the six nominees for the National Prize in support of young talents in the arts and science, created and organised by the Fund.
The young lady is engaged in the hot processing of artistic glass. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Painting and a Master’s degree in Glass Design from Sts Cyril and Methodius University of Veliko Tarnovo.
She is a PhD student at the Mural Painting Department of the Faculty of Fine Arts at the same educational institution. Denitsa has taken part in numerous international and national exhibitions, plein-air events and festivals. In 2019, she specialised in Barbara Zehner’s Glass Studio, Fürstenzell, Germany, under the Erasmus+ Programme for Education, Training, Youth and Sport of the European Union.
On consecutive Mondays, NEF ‘13th century Bulgaria’ presents each of the contenders for the prestigious prize.
And if you decide to support these talented people, you can contribute to the donation campaign launched by the Fund at https://fund13veka.bg/talant/
In the competition, which is being held for the first time, Bulgarians of up to 35 years of age with innovative achievements in the arts or science took part. A mandatory requirement was that contenders for the prize and the BGN 5,000 (a sum that is to cover the winner’s educational expenses) were to have been accepted in 2019 for postgraduate qualification at accredited higher education institutions in Europe, excluding Bulgaria.
As with all the other nominees, Denitsa Todorova replied frankly to the questions on the website.
If you had to describe the magic of glass in a few words, what would you say?
– For me, glass is an extraordinary material, possessing an energy that borders on the sacral. It gives me the opportunity to express imagination and sensuousness, as well as to combine the techniques of painting and sculpture.
It offers a wide range of expressive options that vary from one extreme to another—it can either be fragile or extremely solid, to absorb light, but also refract it, to be crystal clear or opaque in chromaticity, two-dimensional or three-dimensional.
Is it the transformation of the formless mass into an artistic work that attracts you in the hot treatment of artistic glass?
– The process itself is unique and inspires research into the possibilities of the material. It is exactly the transformation of the shapeless glass mass into an artistic work that attracts me because, to an outside eye, the process resembles a game, whereas it is actually very complex.
How did your specialisation in Barbara Zehner’s Glass Studio, Fürstenzell, Germany, affect your work?
– This specialisation brought me many positives: I added to my knowledge, learned new hot treatment techniques, created several new works and established good contacts in the profession.
Many believe that hot treatment of glass is a dangerous occupation. Is this opinion exaggerated, or does the thrill lie in the difficulties?
– It is by no means an exaggeration, not least because not everyone can stand the high temperatures and dynamics that the hot treatment process require. At the same time, once you take the plunge, the thrill in question of how far you can go is very galvanising.