‘Steps’ by Freddie Darke - in participation with 'Ritual and Revolution' for The Old School Art Residency 2018, Gorna Lipnitsa, Bulgaria

I collected very loose and informal interviews with locals in the village, particularly interested in daily habits - no matter how small or seemingly irrelevant. I talked to people of all ages.

I wove these characters and narratives into a large collage/installation that became, through the process and on its completion, a humble attempt to celebrate the ‘magic in the mundane’ - the potential meaningfulness of the repeated act. With a fairly simple allusion to the notion of the butterfly effect, I hoped to illustrate a form of value for our everyday rituals.   

Notes and extracts from interviews and conversations preceding the project:

‘We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.’ - Aristotle

Christopher steps with numbers. I step with words. We step around in different parts of the world. We are connected. 

(Almost) every day: 

Yasmina (17) and Iliyan (16) watch films together.

Yasmina has coffee in the mornings. She doesn’t like starting the day without it.

Iliyan listens to music. He lies down on his bed and turns it up loud. It calms him down when he’s nervous.

Gabriel (18) works on digital art. His favourite part is zooming out on the screen to see the overall picture - to see what he’s made.

He hates getting up for school.

(Almost) every day:

Diana (18) eats fruit. If she hasn’t eaten fruit, she feels miserable and sad. Fruit makes her happy. It’s a good habit.

She doesn’t enjoy putting on face cream or make-up, it’s boring and she wishes she could be natural all the time.

Reny loves photography, she takes pictures constantly. She enjoys the sense of communication.

Kathy plays with the kids. She loves everything about it. 

(Almost) every day:

A woman born in 1941 takes her grandson (3) to the swings. She reads books. She watches British cooking programmes.

She does gardening. Her favourite thing about gardening is the end result, watching tomatoes grow and become ready to eat.

(Almost) every day:

Christopher likes to get lost in imaginary worlds, worlds made up of unknown futures, new worlds merging with ours. He ponders the notion of infinite possibilities. Sometimes the thoughts come when he’s walking, in between walking with the habitual counting.