GATEWAY (2021)
Materials: Granite
Dimensions: 2.2m x 2m x 0.35m​​​​​​​
Conceived and implemented by Constantine Zlatev, Gateway is a contemporary megalithic sculpture situated in the footsteps of the Bulgarian Old Mountain.
Geographically, Bulgaria lies on the path of the Neolithic Expansion, a period when agricultural technology spread from Asia Minor through Europe. The ability to form settlements and produce surplus food supported an unprecedented population growth and among other marks of modern civilization, enabled the development of large-scale art and architecture. There are numerous prehistoric megaliths scattered across Bulgaria that symbolize that time of fecundity. These seem to highlight by contrast the current state of depopulation in rural Bulgaria due to large-scale emigration in recent decades.
Inspired by the Buzovgrad Megalith, Constantine had an idea to build a contemporary stone gateway.  Sheltering in place amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the only help available to him were close family members such as his sister and elderly father. Constantine proceeded singly, building his own tools & equipment as needed, and relying on simple and practical ways of transporting and implementing the granite trilithon. The final sculpture is installed atop a cliff rising above the Yantra River along the town of Gabrovo and is visible from the local roads.​​​​​​​
This project was supported by a Creative Initiatives Program Grant from the National Culture Fund of Bulgaria.
Documentary video of the creation process.
Loading the granite slabs onto a sturdy timber cart built specifically for transporting the stones.
The stones arranged in the intended composition, in preparation for shaping the column bases and lintel joints.
The completed post and lintel joints.​​​​​​​
Squaring & leveling the column bases.
30cm deep footing with a lock-stone to compensate for a natural break in the hard sandstone bedrock.
The granite columns & lintel were lifted into position with the help of a timber crane fitted with a hand-operated winch.
Setting the lintel onto its post.
Detail of the lintel joint.
South view of the completed installation.
View through the gate, looking onto the Old Mountain peaks Mazalat and Pyrgos.
© 2021 Constantine Zlatev

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