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Artist of the Week – Bistra Kossovianova

October 16, 2012 by · 8 comments

An interview with Bistra Kossovianova by Anelia Stoyanova

Bistra Kossovianova

How did you come up with the unusual idea to make art out of useless plastic bottles? And why exactly lights?

People often ask me this question, but up until now I haven’t come up with a logical answer. Where Ideas come from? How they appear in the human consciousness? Is it the human that possesses the Idea, or vice versa? I really don’t know but I am grateful and happy, that it happened.

The main reason that I transform bottles into lights is that the light itself manages to reveal the hidden beauty of this material. It’s quite easy to see. The next time before throwing an empty bottle into the bin just lift it against the Sun and look. Then you will see how the material is instantly transformed by the light.

Bistra Kossovianova

At first sight, it’s hard to imagine that your creations are made of recycled plastic. How does the “magic” process of converting recycled bottles into unique lamps work?

A big part of the “magic” is quite trivial. I spend a lot of time washing the bottles, removing the etiquettes and the handles. The creative process usually flows more or less by itself. I cut, form and put the pieces together without any serious preparation or precise sketches.

I hold in my mind a general idea that I aim to do, but I leave the lead mainly to the process, so it happens often that I come up with results that are to my surprise. Exactly this is what charms me the most, as I came to realize that I am only a mediator for the process and the less I influence it with my rational thinking, the better results I get.

It’s very beautiful and this is what holds the magic.

Bistra Kossovianova

What have you learned about the light in the process of working with it?

The Light is power, the light is life, and the light is transformative. Diffused by different space, medium and color the light brings different impressions.

As an example, looking at some of my works people often say that they can almost feel the warmth radiating from them. The light causes different emotional reactions to the viewer and my goal is to channel these reactions in the direction of harmony, warmth, tenderness, calmness…

Bistra Kossovianova

Could every bottle become a lamp or is there some selection criteria?

I don’t have special criteria. I am happy to experiment with whatever comes to me as material. So it happened that a friend of mine was travelling through Romania and she brought back for me a PET bottle of a kind I never saw before. So it inspired me and I formed a piece around it.

It happens that a bottle with unusual form or color becomes an inspiration for me, but in general I use whatever I have at the moment.

Bistra Kossovianova

Do you have a favorite color? How is the color palette you use in your creations obtained?

I don’t, or to put it in a better way – all the colors are my favorite! When there are no prior requirements I choose the color for a piece spontaneously in the process. When I do a piece for a certain interior of course, I take notice of the main colors that are already there.

Bistra Kossovianova

What is the advantage of your artistic lights? Why should we all have one of them in our homes?

I think that the objective of art, and art lighting in particular, is to create a mood and a nice atmosphere by communicating with the viewer at one fine and delicate level, thus making the quality of life better. This often is not just “the next beautiful piece at home” but creation that provokes a deeper pounder and communication with oneself.

I refer to the lights that I create as “Darkest hour lights” because in my opinion the best time for contemplation is very late at night when the stress of the previous day is gone, but at the same time it is still too early to plan for the day to come.

Bistra Kossovianova

This period is the best time to enjoy the atmosphere that this discrete lightning produces. With my lights I don’t aim to replace the conventional ones, but to bring a beautiful and energizing addition to the interior at home, and not only at home, as I think they will look magnificent at various public locations such as bars, restaurants and as night decorations for the big store displays.

Bistra Kossovianova

Your first exhibition took place recently. What kind of responses did you receive by the visitors?

Wonderful! I feel really grateful for all the fabulous feedback I got. People were inspired and I got all kinds of advices, ideas and recourses for my consideration. It was dynamic, helpful and most of all very pleasant communication with my guests at the opening.

Bistra Kossovianova

Where are your unique light objects able to be bought?

At the moment they are still in my studio. Everybody is welcome to contact me anytime at my Facebook page

Bistra Kossovianova

Do you perceive yourself and your activity as a role model? Do you find followers of this unusual ecological idea?

I think it is too early for followers. I am just starting and my work now finds publicity, so the audience acquainted with my work is still limited. Recently I started a new project of “Co-create” as I opened the doors of my studio to everybody willing to create a piece for themselves or as a unique present for their loved ones.

I am giving the space, tools, materials, my time and previous experience to everyone that wishes to try it out and so I hope more people will be engaged in the process of making such unusual projects happen. Two hands are not enough.

Bistra Kossovianova

What are your thoughts towards nature and environmental protection?

I recon the same as the attitude of any other conscious individual who came to realize that we are only guests on our Planet. Nature should be loved and cared for, because we are strongly connected with it.

We are the ones that should find a harmonic and symbiotic way of existence with the world that surrounds us because there are laws that should not be broken and balance that has to be sustained and nonrenewable resources that should be wisely used.

Bistra Kossovianova

How do you see yourself as a mediator between man and the environment? Do you have your mission?

I don’t think that such mediation is needed. Every one of us is born with free will, will power, consciousness and a mind. We all live on the same Planet, we breathe the same air, drink the same water.

Mission is a strong word, I will rather say that I give my personal example which in my opinion is more than any words or preaches for sustainable and close to nature life will bring.

Bistra Kossovianova

What makes you positive and develops your creativity?

Well this is a mystery for me also. There are some days when I feel wonderful, ready and charged to create, but nothing comes up. Other days I may feel a bit reluctant to start, but nevertheless I get wonderful results at the end.

I haven’t found a formula which corresponds directly to unlocking the creative process. Maybe calmness is the thing I need the most. Of course I receive a lot of positive energy from the contact with nature, my pets, family and friends, meditation and art by itself.

Bistra Kossovianova

Motorcycling is your other passion. Is there a relation between these activities, in your opinion?

Yes, definitely! A famous book is entitled “Dzen and the ART of motorcycle maintenance”. Proficient riding is an art on its own. Speaking with humor it is an art in itself to just stay alive on a motorcycle in Bulgaria. Among the motorcycle riders there are lots of talented artists, painters, sculptors, designers etc. I think this fact speaks for itself.

Bistra Kossovianova

What do you dream about? What lies ahead for you?

I don’t make much planning. I don’t focus on the future. As I started this journey I never knew where it will lead me, as I don’t know now where its’ end will be. It’s the journey alone that counts.

What would you tell the readers of Public Republic?

“Let there be Light!”

Bistra Kossovianova

I have graduated in First Private English Language School “William Shakespeare” in Sofia. I studied in New Bulgarian University, faculty for Computer Graphics and Animation. Along with my studies I attended also to different art classes. I did my diploma work as a one year practice in a company for multimedia Lunatic GmBH in Berlin.

After I finished with my studies I decided to follow the advice “Make your hobby your work and you will never have to work again”, so I opened a store for motorcycle accessories, as my hobby is motorcycling. I managed it for a five year period, but then I decided I should devote my time to something more creative and useful.

So I closed down the store and while I was at this crossroad in my life there came the idea for these lights. For a half year I did them at home, but at some point it got impossible to work in domestic conditions, so I rented a small place nearby, where I work till this moment. My debut exhibition was in September this year.

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