Plovdiv Spaceman – not because it is easy, but because it is hard

Stuart McCulloch is currently a Creative Director at Art Machina – a community based arts company in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. For this years Night of Museums they will present an inflatable transparent spaceman. He will stand over 10 metres tall and will be lit from within. He will be inflated and exhibited for the entire weekend. Towering over the people, he will be a sight to behold. A figure that triggers the imagination and brings a smile to the faces of both young and old.

To describe your Project you used the words of John F. Kennedy: “…not because it is easy, but because it is hard…” Why did you choose exactly this quotation?

I love a challenge and in order to accomplish great things I believe we must always push hard to create something totally original and unique . My satisfaction with doing large scale projects like this one comes from knowing that on the surface it appears quite improbable or perhaps even impossible to the audience and presents them with something that has the potential  for them to say Wow!, which in this modern age full of technology, where we are exposed to the seemingly impossible every day is an emotion that is rare.

You called your project the Plovdiv Spaceman. Where is he going?

The Spaceman will stand on the plaza in front of the military club. I chose this location as he will be visible from a long distance and the space there interests me as it is rarely used for art.

You usually work with public spaces.  What attracts you in Plovdiv in urban and social context?

Nowadays all of my art is framed in the urban landscape, I believe that the entire city can and should be used to show art. Plovdiv is fortunate to have many many spaces that lend themselves naturally to art, I think that galleries and museums are fine for certain artworks but there is an invisible line that some people from certain social backgrounds cannot or do not want to cross. Art in the public realm allows all people to see it and be involved with it. I also love the freedom this gives me to play with the landscape (such as last years piece around the Roman stadium) but also the constraints it imposes on me, it forces me to be creative and innovative.

What was your vision of the universe when you were younger?

As with all young people I thought the universe rotated exclusively around me! But seriously, I wanted to be a spaceman. I was an avid sci-fi fan and watched and read as much on the topic as I possibly could.

Who is in your space team?

Our team is broken down into several groups. We have Mission Control where the design and logistics are organised, we have The Ground Crew who are responsible for building the Spaceman  and we have Space Cadets, they are a group of volunteers who will join us for the weekend to look after the Spaceman.  We are recruiting our Space Cadet team right now and if any readers wish to get involved we’d love to hear from them.

If you are interested in joining Stuart’s space team, you can apply on the following e-mail:

Author: Jakub Munko



Central Square (in front of the Military Club)

19:00 – 01:00
The Plovdiv Space Man – Stuart McCulloch and Art Machina.

Standing over 10 metres tall and illuminated from within, a giant inflatable spaceman will tower over the people of Plovdiv, triggering the imagination and bringing smiles to the faces of both young and old. Working with a group of diverse and motivated volunteers, Art Machina will create something simultaneously bold and beautiful. With the special participation of the Plovdiv Military Band.

The Plovdiv Space Man is part of the platform Open Call for Projects of the Open Arts Foundation.

Общност от предимно не твърде обременени от журналистически навици ентусиасти, мотивирани от силната си пристрастеност към Нощните маршрути, оценили възможността за изява, за срещи с интересни хора и изживяването да усетят "Нощта отвътре".

© 2019 Open Arts Foundation, НОЩ/Пловдив -