If I have to describe Gozo in one word this will be definitely COLORS. That is the name of my first photography project which I created during the two years I spent living on the beautiful sister island of Malta in the heart of the Mediterranean. Coming from a busy dull and grey Bulgarian city it is easy to get inspiration once you find yourself on such a colorful and peaceful location as Gozo. In fact I had the idea for a project like this long before I went to Gozo, but there I fond exactly what I needed. On Malta and Gozo there is one dominant color – limestone beige. The limestone is the main raw material in the country and every single building is made out of limestone. You’ll say now that sounds very dull, probably the inhabitants of Gozo thought the same so they decided to make their lives a bit more colorful and they started to paint everything in bright colors. The doors and windows of each house are painted in different colors. Each shop sign, lamp, pot, bench or anything else you can think of are painted in bright and lively colors which together with the beautiful flowers that you find in front of every house makes every village on Gozo a sea of colors. On top of that during the summer each village has a feast and during this weeks the main squares and streets are heavily decorated with bright colorful flags, lights and statues of the patron saints. And apart from that Gozo is popular with its carnivals during which the people dress in all kinds of mesmerizing colorful costumes and party on the streets day and night.
The project took me more than a year, the first image was taken in July 2013 and the last one in October 2014. During that period I was walking countless hours on the streets of every single village on Gozo seeking for matching colors. Each composition in the project consists of four pictures and each of those is taken in different parts of the island except the first composition – the blue one, which was also the first one that I made from the project and all four were taken at the village of San Lawrenz, where I lived at that period. The first few compositions were really easy to make as those were dominant colors that you can find everywhere. It took me a month to make Blue, Red, Black, White, Cyan and Yellow. Then in the following two month I managed to create Magenta, Orange, Green and Sienna and then in month or so I managed to make the Gray and Aquamarine. The rest of the compositions took a lot of time to combine as those colors were very rare and hard to find. The Pink one was definitely the hardest to compose and the last one to make was the Purple one on which I decided to include also my reflection as a signature for the series. Hard task was also to choose what items to include as I wanted to show the true spirit and traditions of Gozo hence why I decided not to include modern looking items.
All images were created with a Sony NEX C3 camera with Sony SEL 18-55mm and Sony SEL 55-210mm lenses. I decided to shoot directly in JPEG instead of RAW as there was almost no need of editing afterwards. The pictures were then processed in Photoshop mainly for cropping, contrast enhancing and tone matching.
In June 2016 “Colors of Gozo” was judged the best Bulgarian photography in Street and Architecture category for the first 15 years of the 21st century and awarded with a gold medal by the Bulgarian Academy of Photography.
As my first project I hope that one day this will be my first solo exhibition too. Until then I hope you enjoy watching the gallery and also many greetings to all the amazing people I met on Gozo and for those who are not on the island anymore I hope this series will bring some good memories.
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