20 – 30 SEPTEMBER 2021


Contact: Nia Pushkarova

Artist and Organizer/ Curator of Water tower art residency/fest in Varna 2021 and Chairwoman of Ngo IME

With kind support by Embassy of United States in Sofia and i Portunus



• Details on event and curator’s concept

For the fifth year, Bulgarian and foreign artists will exchange experience. This time the event will be in Varna – the sea capital of Bulgaria, as an act of decentralization of the cultural life of Sofia for the maximum usage of the potential that arts and culture possess for greater social inclusion.

The tried and true method of the “mentoring program” is to combine progressive creative social strategies with their implementation in a local context.  Both online and in person workshops will be initiated in public spaces and in main partner’s venue ReBonkers ( an old bunker in Varna) leading to resulting in a final exhibition event of residency with especially invited  team members as mentors working and collaborating in different disciplines such as performance art, film and art in public spaces and socially engaged practices.

Water Tower Art Residency is a new, separate chapter, but also a natural extension to the book of the NGO IME and Water Tower Art Fest – whose original format (international contemporary art festival in abandoned buildings) ended in 2016 with the 10th anniversary of the festival, including more than 80 contemporary art offerings -  painting, sculpture, video and photo projections, installations, performances – from over 10 European countries, as well as the world.  Based on years of experience and a network of participants and partners, the essence of Creative Water Tower Residence is to continue the set tone and tradition: the artistic development of artists and their audiences, and the creation of works in a specific context at a specific location – site-specific art.

Our partner will be ReBonkers as well as a network of independent artistic initiatives dedicated to the development of Varna . The places we are about to integrate (old bunker and various public spaces-in and outside city center) within our program are going to be the scene for inspiration and a subject of collaborations between guest mentors – team members and young participants.

Interaction and empathy between people and an inclusive attitude towards different ethnicities and cultures as well as empowering young women are the topics that we will encourage to develop through creative workshops in our residency.

The problem with the elitization of art and culture and the lack of clear access to cultural events of communities on the outskirts of settlements is big, because most people, especially from marginalized communities, are influenced and led only by mass culture, which narrows their horizons.


 As part of our strategy to integrate such communities and develop their sense of belonging, it is our choice of neglected public places to interact over the years. As some of these places have a certain value for our city from a historical architectural or aesthetic point of view. Touching them is a touch to the geographical memory of a culture, nation, community and by living and socializing them through art, we provide an opportunity to reconsider values ​​related to the spirit and history of the place, as well as to pay attention to our internal neglect and the need for continuity and development through empathy.

Selection procedure

We welcome VISUAL ARTISTS working in the sphere of installation/film/video/mural and graffiti/performance/sound design etc. ​


  • Free of charge participation to all workshops by especially invited mentors

  • Help in developing personal art projects with the help and guidance by residency mentors

  • transfer from the airport to the accommodation area and back,

  • assistance with finding cheap accommodation

  • materials required for their work (arranged prior to arrival)

  • promotion and presentation of the produced artwork,

  • transportation,

  • cultural activities

Expenses paid by the artist:

  • travel

  • accommodation

  • meals

  • medical insurance

  • personal needs​


THE SELECTION COMMITTEE will take into consideration the following criteria:

- Presented project plan submitted by the candidate-artist;

- Its relevance to local and international art standards;

- Its feasibility and how artists from different parts of the world and of different backgrounds, using different mediums, may interact, enriching each other’s work processes and results.



20 September arrival and first meeting at The Bookstore

21 September – 10:00 – 14:00 Organized Art tour starting at Re Bonkers club and public spaces in Varna in partnership with Varna Spaces 

15:00 Workshops start

22- 27 September workshop sessions

Mid presentation 25.09 – 18:00 to 22:30

End of Residency 30.09.2021 ; 11:00 Departure

*Program is indicative and may undergo some changes



Screen Shot 2021-07-25 at 09.56.18

Ruby Cedar


Ruby studied her undergraduate in Fine Art at Central Saint Martins specialising in their XD (cross disciplinary) pathway where the focus was in how art engages and works with communities as well as being free in adopting different mediums. She went on to exhibit in Berlin, London, Sofia & Chicago where she won ‘Best of Show’ at the 21st International Open Exhibition at Woman Made Gallery IL in 2018. In recent years she has continued as a multidisciplinary artist and curator but has focused more on Filmmaking as both visual art and narrative cinema. This summer will conclude her Masters in Filmmaking at the University of the West of Scotland where she will have made 3 short films, two fiction and one documentary. Her film work hopes to build unsettling worlds with dark tones, creepy erotica and fragile characters.

Artist Workshop: Make a Short Film

In this workshop you will each produce a 2 minute film to be exhibited in the final presentation of WTAR. We will follow the process through from idea inception, practice pitching, idea development to filming as well as watching and discussing other short form films. The form the film takes is up to you, it could be documentation of your art work or of a performance. It could be an experimental art piece in itself. It could be a documentary or a narrative fiction film. The only constraint is it’s length (2 minutes).


If you have a camera, sound recorder and/or lights then fantastic but the minimum you’ll need to have is a decent camera phone. We will be looking at how best to use lighting, sound, framing and general planning/storyboarding in order to produce the best image without necessarily having the most expensive kit. As artists we are resourceful! And with this in mind the workshop is aimed at artists who are interested in adopting film as part of their toolkit.


The artist leading the workshop will be editing the films (unless you are keen on doing this yourself and have editing software) which is why we have the limit of 2 minutes, to give her time to have the pieces ready for exhibition.


  • Session on ideas (inception & development) 2 hours

  • Screening and discussion of short films (mixture of fiction, documentary, artist documentation forms) 1.5 hours

  • Practice pitch: Artists pitch their ideas and receive feedback & questions from the group 3 hours

  • Development: Artists develop their ideas and how best to plan for the shoot to minimise post production i.e lighting, sound, framing & storyboarding 4 hours

  • Artists film all day



In order to take part all you need is a decent phone camera, although if you have a better camera or any other equipment for example sound recorder, lights then fantastic.


Chuyia Chia –


Chuyia Chia moved to Singapore in the late 1990s and is now based in Gothenburg. Her artistic training is originally painting, but her main artistic practice is now within the realm of performance and installation art. Chuyia Chia’s artistic direction has developed with of her identity as an immigrant in the 1990s, giving her global outlook and concern. Thus in her work she pays particular attention to environmental responsibility and food, focusing on relationships and the communication between people. Her perspective is often how the body can express these contexts and communicate knowledge and emotions to the viewer. Chuyia has participated and have commissioned international exhibitions, festivals and events in more than 32 countries includes China, Poland, Czech Republic, Northern Ireland, France, Belgium, Peru, Argentina, Russia, Canada, USA, Finland, Germany, Mexico, Thailand, Italy, Cameroon and so on. Her most recently commission work is the Singapore Biennale 2016.

*Online session

Haruka Tomatsu –


She studied Butoh techniques with Setsuko Yamada, Toru Iwashita, and Theater Theory with Shogo Ota. After graduating in 2007-2008 she joined the Glorious Future Dance Company (Director: Kim Ito). 2008 she also started her career as a freelance dancer and performer.

She participated in various performances in Japan as well as internationally.

Since 2013 she has created her own work as a choreographer, dancer and performer.

Therefore she focuses on the relation between existence and absence with a strong approach to space, objects and body in everyday life.

Wotrkshop Concept and Information vol.1

Feel and observe the city of Varna on your body

Masks, disinfection, social distance.

It’s been a year and a half since we started living with Covid-19.

The shape of people’s lives has changed rapidly.

And the distance and relationships between people have changed.

Isn’t the sensation that our bodies feel also changed as a result since

the lifestyle is changing by Covid-19?

In this project,I would like to objectively observe the space in which we

are by using the five senses to feel and output what kind of space we

live in with such a changed body.

Feeling of the body: Not only seeing, but also walking around Varna city

while making maximum use of touch, smell, taste, and hearing, and

expressing the feeling there through installation and performance.

These feelings as the installation are stored in Bunker and shared with


Ginny Sykes-


EXPERTISE:  Over a 40 year practice, I have made art to tell stories of personal and historical merit informed by feminism’s resistance to prescriptive or institutional ideas of a universalized female experience. Centering women’s stories is in itself a critique of patriarchal codes that have occupied and over-determined artistic content over millennia of arts production; codes that valorize certain values at the expense of others, lead to dangerous levels of ecological imbalance, wreak havoc on women’s lives, and foster cultures of violence. Within this framework across all the genres of my work, but especially in performance and video, I address subjects of individuation, aging, loss, resiliency. Jung’s theories on alchemy and dreams inspire me to explore ideas of individual and collective unconscious. I use myth and ritual in layered imagery to create symbolic meaning, to unearth the shadow side of a story, and suggest the transforming potential of art to heal the splits within us all.

Ginny Sykes is an interdisciplinary artist inspired by mythology, Jungian psychology, ancient monuments, and dreams. She employs a poetic, layered aesthetic across all genres of her practice, to invite a consideration of the transforming and healing potential of art, and to encourage access to one’s inner world. Selected recent exhibitions in the US and internationally include Legler Regional Library and Woodson Regional Public Library, Chicago Art Source, Woman Made Gallery, and Loyola University Art Museum, Chicago, IL; LACE, Los Angeles, CA; Art Performing Festival, Naples, Italy and Forte Marghera, Venice, Italy; Dryphoto Arte Contemporanea, Prato, Italy; Water Tower Art Festival, Sofia, Bulgaria; top Schillerpalais, Berlin, Germany; Saltillo Contemporary, Saltillo, Mexico; Pinacoteca Communale de Arte Contemporanea, Gaeta, Italy; and Can Gelabert Casal de Cultura, Mallorca, Spain. Sykes taught at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and in many community based art programs, where she loved working with teenagers. She has created over 40 public art projects, including On the Wings of Water at O’Hare Airport. Sykes holds an MA in Women Studies and Gender Studies from Loyola University, Chicago, IL, a BFA from Washington University, Saint Louis, Missouri, and studied painting and art history at Studio Cecil Graves in Florence, Italy. When not living in Chicago, she lives in Naples, Italy.

I propose to do a short performance work that will start with my physical body and that transforms into a ritual art object of contemplation that others can interact with.

Daisuke Takeya –


Born and raised in Japan, Daisuke Takeya obtained a Master of Fine Arts degree from the Graduate School of Figurative Art at the New York Academy of Art and received Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the School of Visual Arts in New York City. As a live performance artist Daisuke has collaborated with artists from various genres, including classical musicians such as cellist Vernon Regehr, violinist Lynn Kuo, Music in the Barns Chamber Ensemble, Les AMIS Ensemble, and deVah Quartet. Daisuke’s interest has been extended to vitalization of communities via art. He has co-directed and performed at Ashita: Artists for Japan, a Tsunami Relief Fundraiser in March, 2011, which featured the visual, music, dance, performance, and literary art communities of Toronto. Daisuke is also a past programming director and board member of Gendai Gallery, an artist and ambassador of ARTBOUND and an organizing committee member of Onagawa Art Season, an art festival at the most devastated town of 2011 Tsunami in Japan. He is currently a co-director of DAICHI Projects, the representative and curator of Field Trip Project, Field Trip Project Asia, and POWER TO THE PEOPLE initiative. He is the executive director of Responding: International Performance Art Festival and Meeting erected in 2018.

*Online session

Ana Vujic

ana vujic_foto

Ana Vujić (*1981/Serbia), lives and works in Basel

For years I have been realising large-format drawings with charcoal or ink that focus on the constantly changing conditions of human life. The works often address situations of transformation, the fragility of the social construct and question our role as individuals. In doing so, I am less interested in retracing real images that have already been seen. Rather, the works are about inner pictorial worlds that also tell of opposing emotional worlds through an abstraction of content.

As an artist, I also consciously place my drawings on public city walls or so-called “non-places”. For me, art and everyday life are inseparable.

Ana is invited to do a specially developed project with wall murals in public space as a socially engaged artwork in collaboration with local and other artists.

Ivelina Ivanova


 is a multidisciplinary artist based in Sofia. From 2014 to 2017 he studied and lived in London, where he started experimental animation and created several short films, recognized by a number of international festivals. Currently, her main creative activity is in the field of 3D animation, video mapping and interactive installation. Ivelina’s works are with mixed media: painted animation, 2D and 3D digital animation, film and sound collage.Ivelina’s works are with mixed media: painted animation, 2D and 3D digital animation, film and sound collage. From 2020 he holds a Master’s degree in Digital Arts from the National Academy of Arts.

The participants in the residency will be introduced to various techniques for analog and digital animation, digital video image processing and transmedia collage. The ultimate goal of the lessons is to make a collective experimental animated video.

Nina Foltynowicz- sound artist, DJ –

Nina Foltynowicz - CV (1)

Nina is a DJ from Silesia, mining area of Poland. When she was 6, she said she doesn’t need to learn how to read, cause she loves music and that’s enough. Her all life is connected with sounds, beats and instruments. If you could use her eyes for a moment, you would see tons of instruments everywhere. Her mixes are a vibbing journeys through many genres, but house and disco are the most perceptible ones.

Malwina Hanna Kleszcz

Highly-creative Visual Media Artist with an extraordinary experience of innovative digital projects, 3D modeling and animation using the best available technical programs.

Nina and Malwina are going to give workshop together of visual and sound short animation


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