Andreja Brulc's Blog

Wall Murals: Life in the City

Posted in Projects by andrejabrulc on 25/04/2010

Wall murals for the Press Room of Beletrina Academic Press, a site-specific project to serve as a backdrop for a series of press conferences during the international World Literatures – Fabula Festival, the central event of Ljubljana’s time as UNESCO World Book Capital 2010. The monumental murals were based on book-cover illustrations that I had created over the previous years for the imprint. The project demanded a high level of technical skills as wall murals were not only executed in acrylics – the medium not customarily used for the cover illustrations – but they were also larger in scale than the originals. I used a projector to transfer the illustrations to the dimensions of the walls, the method of which also enabled me to trace the originals and keep the murals as close to the book covers as possible. Furthermore, the illustrations were carefully selected to reflect the life in the city of Ljubljana, where the publisher is based.

As you enter the room, the wall on the left has a composition of three tall blocks of flats, smaller in scale but immediately recognisable as a typical architecture of the 1960s and 70s encountered in the city. The illustration immediately recalls the legacy of the communist regime in building large blocks of flats with a utopian idea of social housing but at the same time the legacy of aesthetic connections with Le Corbusier and the West. This piece was made as an element to one of the 16 illustrations, which were reproduced inside a poetry collection (2009).

The central wall, opposite, represents the life in the city, based on the silhouetting artwork done for the cover of a poetry book (2008). It consists of a composition of life-size figures: some busy going to work towards the left (symbolically towards the innermost wall showing a hand indicating a place where business is conducted, created especially for these murals, 2010); some walking at leisure away from the viewer; some walking towards the right, that is, towards the external wall containing windows, between which there is a tree (back illustration for a fiction book, 2007) symbolically painted as if life after work continues in the park (a female figure walking a dog indicates that she is moving towards the park). Or even, a more mischievous thought, when sitting on the sofa along the innermost wall looking towards the windows, the tree becomes a symbol for a desire to escape, away from the busy life at work and of the city, into a life of contemplation and relaxation in the park. And as if that is not enough, for a rest after a long walk to the park, one can sit and read a book on the chair (a detail from a poetry book, 2007) and still pretend that work is being done. As offices are famous for rapid cleaning sessions, a spider (a fiction book, 2009) awaits you the next morning as it sits in its web in the corner!

The central wall also served as a background for the photographic project called The Reader by the photographer Domen Grögl as part of the same Festival. The Reader shows 9 people associated with literature in Slovenia, each holding a book and shown individually on a 2 x 3 m board displayed on the river bank of Ljubljanica during the Festival.

For more photos, see Flickr.


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