Balkan Heritage projects 2013:
“FRESCO-HUNTING” PHOTO RESEARCH EXPEDITION TO MEDIEVAL BALKAN CHURCHES (WESTERN BULGARIA)
Project Type: field school (expedition)
THIS PROJECT IS SUITABLE FOR VOLUNTEERS, SCHOLARS AND STUDENTS WITH INTERESTS IN EUROPEAN MEDIEVAL STUDIES, ORTHODOX ARCHITECTURE, ART, FRESCO RESTORATION AND CONSERVATION AS WELL AS PHOTOGRAPHY. CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE "FRESCO HUNTING IN BULGARIA" BY GEORGIA GENE BERRYHILL, PH.D., FULBRIGHT SENIOR SPECIALIST IN BULGARIA (2010)!
Site/s: Two to five medieval Christian Orthodox chapels and small churches in Western Bulgaria
Project Venue: Sofia - Bankya (SPA town in the Sofia Metropolitan Area)
Period(s): Late Medieval period (fourteenth to seventeenth century)
Nearest Air Terminal: Sofia - don't forget checking the low cost flight options!
If participants arrive at either the Sofia airport or bus/train stations, a taxi transfer to the project venue in Bankya may be arranged by request (Please, specify this in your application form!). Individual or group transfers’ price may vary depending on number of passengers from 10 to 20 EUR.
Description: This project aims to support the documentation of medieval frescoes preserved in abandoned churches and chapels in remote areas of
The field school project is comprised of two parts:
1. Standard Field School Project (11 - 25 May, 2013):
* In 2013 the “Fresco Hunting” Photo Expedition will continue to expand the existing iconographic schemes of imaging the Medieval Churches in Western Bulgaria by employing Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI). The objective of this module of the “Fresco Hunt” is to introduce the new and affordable technique of Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI) in order to document rapidly decaying and damaged frescos in selected Medieval Churches in Western Bulgaria. In the RTI technique a camera is focused at a surface and series of photographs are taken each with a different light position. A free software package originally developed at Hewlett-Packard Labs is then used to combine the information from the sixty or so images to produce a single three-dimensional rendering of the surface. This digital technique is non-invasive and non-destructive and is rapidly becoming a standard investigative tool for Archeologists and Art Conservators.Prior knowledge of basic and/or digital photography is recommended, however the field school will provide the participants with the toolset for advanced technical photography as it is currently used in Art Conservation and Archeology.
2. Extended Field School Project Stage (26 May - 1 June, 2013):
The project will admit participants to:
All participants will receive:
New Bulgarian University grants 6 credits to students for participation in the Standard Field School Project and 9 credits for participation in the Extended Field School Project. Transcripts are available upon request for an additional tuition fee! For details please read the BHFS Regulations for obtaining ToR!
Archaeological and Historical Context: The decline of Bulgarian and Byzantine Empires in the fourteenth century, rise and fall of Serbian Kingdom (an Empire between 1346-1371), Ottoman conquest of South-eastern Europe and the apogee of Ottoman power between the second half of the fourteenth and the end of seventeenth century highlight the Balkan Late Medieval Period. Churches and chapels that will be visited and studied were built during these turbulent times in one of the few Balkan areas where the traditions of all the major Balkan Late Medieval Art Schools and Guilds (those of Constantinople, Tarnovo, Ohrid, Thessaloniki, the Athos Holy Mountain, Epirus, Creta and the Danubain principalities) met. What we see today from the once flourishing medieval Orthodox art in the area are just small chapels and churches that survived the “disastrous” Ottoman invasion in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. Many of these monuments are characterized by humble architecture and often hide exquisite frescoes behind their unattractive exterior. Most of them have been abandoned long ago. There is visible damage due to both hostile acts of Muslims (in the period of Ottoman domination: fifteenth to nineteenth century.) and/or weather conditions ruining them after they were abandoned.
Affiliation: Balkan Heritage Field School/Foundation; Conservation Of Sculptures, Monuments And Objects (CSMO), Canada; New Bulgarian University, Bulgaria
Project director: Ivan Vasilev (President of Balkan Heritage Foundation, Visiting Professor, Medieval Art and Heritage Preservation, NBU)
Dates:Standard Project:11 – 25 May 2013
Extended Project: 11 May – 1 June 2013
Application Deadline: 10 April, 2013
Minimum length of stay for participants: 1 session (two weeks)
Minimum age: 18
Number of field school places available: 12
Special requirements: The project is not recommended for individuals with special illnesses that might be exacerbated during the intensive outdoor activities. Each participant is expected to bring a personal DSLR camera, a laptop having at least 5 GB free disk space, a mouse and an USB flash drive.
Lectures, workshops and field trainings:
Room and Board arrangements: Full-board accommodation in two and three bedded hotel rooms & suites with WC & showers will be provided. The hotel is located in the downtown of Bankya. Transport will be arranged by the organizers. Single rooms are available upon request for an additional fee of 170 EUR per week. Three meals per day are covered by the admission fee. Requests for vegetarian food are accepted!
Free time: Bankya, but esp. Sofia offer a lot of opportunities for good entertainment, sightseeing and shopping. For more information look at: http://cityinfoguide.net – the Sofia monthly guide for culture and entertainment! Look-up at the suggested travel ideas before/after the field school!
The Admission fee includes educational and fieldwork activities, full-board accommodation (hotel + 3 meals per day), tools, materials, project Handbook, issue of Certificate of Attendance, excursions/sightseeing tours/entrance fees and administrative costs.
EARLY REGISTRATION BY JANUARY 31st, 2013: the Early bird admission fee for the Standard Project/Extended Project is 1259/1889 EUR (app.1599/ 2429 USD. Check current exchange rates!).
REGISTRATION AFTER JANUARY 31st, 2013: the regular admission fee for the Standard Project/Extended Project is 1399/2099 EUR (app.1799/ 2699 USD. Check current exchange rates!)
Admission fee transfer options (for further information contact Admissions Office at firstname.lastname@example.org):
DISCOUNTS OFF THE REGULAR ADMISSION FEE: