Who We Are

Colourful Star began with a conversation around a kitchen table in Sofia. Sisters Marina and Vasilena Shiderovi decided they wanted to start an online project which would combine Marina’s paintings with short articles, stories and other texts. Having met Bristol-based writer Tom Phillips by chance, they asked him if he’d like to get involved, and the three set about discussing how an Anglo-Bulgarian art-and-writing collaboration might work. By early 2014, Marina had designed the logo and the webpage, Colourful Star was ready and the project was launched online on 23 January. New collaborations are now published every Friday, with additional postings to mark occasions such as Baba Marta, International Women’s Day/Mother’s Day, Easter and so on.
As well as simply bringing together visual art with poetry and prose, Colourful Star is about exploring and celebrating the possibilities of collaboration between artists and writers living in different parts of Europe. Texts and paintings are created in response to each other, or – as in the case of the post for Baba Marta (1 March 2014) – in response to a common idea or occasion. Although there is no overall theme, one strand which has begun to emerge is work reflecting on the similarities and differences between Bulgarian and British traditions.

Marina Shiderova is an artist living and working in Sofia, Bulgaria. Recent exhibitions of her paintings include 'Zavet' at the Ethnographic Institute and Museum in Sofia and 'The Altitude is a State of Mind' at the Bansko International Mountain Film Festival. Her work also encompasses illustration, calligraphy and design. She has previously worked with Bulgarian writers on the Letters of Flesh project. You can find more of Marina's paintings, drawings, illustrations and calligraphy on her website My Colourful Soul at http://www.marinashiderova.com/

Tom Phillips is a poet and playwright based in Bristol, UK. His publications include the full-length poetry collection 'Recreation Ground' (Two Rivers Press, 2012). Plays include 'Prella's Gift' (Show of Strength, Bristol, 2012), '100 Miles North of Timbuktu' (Theatre West, Bristol, 2013) and 'Deeds Not Words' (Ship & Castle, Bristol, 2013). His writing often concerns SE Europe and his experiences there. He is on the committee of the Balkan Peace Park Project and recently launched European online artistic network Culture Exchange Experiment. See also: 

Vasilena Shiderova is a graduate student in industrial management from the Technical University of Sofia. Her interests are in human resources, learning organisation, organizational change, behaviour and culture. She has already had a number of work placements, as well as a specialization at the University of Portsmouth, UK. At the moment she is an intern at Sistema Turismo, an Italian company working with students from all over the world, travelling with European projects.

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