Andreja Brulc's Blog

Illustration: On the Swing / Book Cover / Italo Calvino

Posted in Books, Craft, Illustrations by andrejabrulc on 20/09/2010

IC_Baron na drevesu_Jacket_FrameThis stitched embroidery, titled as On the Swing (2010), is a part of a larger illustration made for the book The Baron in the Trees (Il barone rampante) written by the Italian author Italo Calvino. The author creates a fantasy world immersed in history, philosophy and politics at the time of Voltaire. Described as conte philosophique and a metaphor for independence, the book tells us the adventures of a boy called Cosimo who, as next in line for the title of Baron, resists the authority of his parents when 12 years old – he refuses to eat a dinner of snails prepared by his sadistic sister Batista and rejects his comfortable aristocratic childhood by climbing up a tree adjacent to the dining room. He spends the rest of his life inhabiting an arboreal kingdom. The story is narrated by his younger brother Biagio. Set in Liguria near the French Riviera, the two brothers belong to the 18th-century nobility, whose family estate is located in the vast forest landscape of Ombrosa. Cosimo discovers that the more he distances himself from others to see them from a new point of view, the more he can help the society. His love for a young woman named Viola, the daughter of the Marquis next door, in a feud with the Cosimo’s family, changes the course of the lives of everyone: Cosimo, Viola, Biagio, and the community of Ombrosa.

The cover illustration – which combines mixed media by collaging photography, distressed paper and historical textures, print-making and outlined stitching – reflects the direct meaning of the book and its setting. It depicts the most memorable scene in which Viola, while sitting on her swing holding an apple, is taken by surprise at her first vision of the sudden appearance of Cosimo on the tree. She drops the apple and her shoe. The swing is set near the wall that physically divides the two estates, here reinforced by the stripe across the cover, and surrounded by the white magnolia, mulberry and oak trees. The scene is further set against the silhouette of the veduta of Ombrosa. The use of the two 18-century paintings by Watteau and Fragonard as a source for outlining the characters’ silhouettes using the traditional craft of stitching has two purposes: on the one hand, it is intended to reinforce the historical setting through the traditional forms (the tradition of the nobility), while, on the other hand, by subverting the painting’s context through the use of stitching and placing it into a different context, the idea of creating a new meaning is evoked showing the ‘new’ world (rebellious child breaking from the tradition).Marquisa on the Swing


Book Covers for Beletrina: Children’s Creative Workshop

Posted in Workshops by andrejabrulc on 08/09/2010

Invitation to a Children’s Creative Workshop in conjunction with the exhibition Book Covers for Beletrina

Dreamspace Gallery, 1-3 Dufferin Street, London, EC1Y 8NA

3 October 2010, 11am–1pm

Free of charge, but please confirm attendance by 27 September 2010 as the workshop is limited to about 15 places (all art materials and snack & drinks provided).

In conjunction with the exhibition Book Covers for Beletrina, a children’s creative workshop will be led by London-based Slovene graphic designer and illustrator, Andreja Brulc.

Children (3–14yrs old) are invited to create illustrations based on stories associated with different places in Slovenia and make up book pages. The pages will be assembled into a short book called Tales from Slovenia and displayed in the exhibition.

Children will be acquainted about the role of a designer and illustrator through their involvement in the making of the book. They will also learn about Slovenia in a creative and fun way.

The project is sponsored by the government of the Republic of Slovenia.


First, children will be briefly introduced to the making of a picture book.

Second, children will be given a different story depending on their age. Each story will be associated with a place in Slovenia, based on myths, folklore, traditions and other historical narratives as well as stories from natural habitats and of places of interest (such as the dragon of Ljubljana, the strong man Martin Krpan, the Medieval knight Erazem of Predjama Castle, the stork of Prekmurje, the proteus of Postojna Cave, the Lipizzaner horse and so on).

The text will be pre-printed. Children will then use a variety of techniques, including drawing, collaging and using photographs (photos will be provided). They can add their own writing too.

The text will be available, in both English and in Slovene.

A digital version of the book will be sent to each participant.

Finally, light snacks and drinks will be provided. Please let us know about any dietary restrictions.


Andreja Brulc

Press Release: Exhibition: Book Covers for Beletrina

Posted in Exhibitions by andrejabrulc on 05/09/2010

Press Release: Book Covers for Beletrina

Dreamspace Gallery, 1–3 Dufferin Street, London, EC1Y 8NA

Exhibition: 3–9 October 2010, 9am–5.30pm

Literary Event: 4 October 2010,  6–8.30 pm (readings start at 6.30pm)

Children’s Workshop: 3 October 2010, 11am–1pm


An exhibition of book covers and illustrations by Andreja Brulc, a London-based Slovene graphic designer and illustrator, created since 2007 for Beletrina, a major literary imprint of the Slovene publisher Beletrina Academic Press. The exhibition will be accompanied by a literary event and a children’s creative workshop.

The project, sponsored by the government of the Republic of Slovenia, will present the publisher’s prolific literary activities for the first time in London through the display of selected book covers showing the unique relationship with their principle designer and illustrator. The event will also bring to a London audience three Slovene literary figures (including the best selling Slovene author of the last decade Goran Vojnović).


The book covers in the exhibition show a strong interest in typography and in combining illustration with photography, typography, traditional techniques such as hand-printing, stitching and patchwork, embroidery, knitting and crocheting, and industrial materials such as sandpaper and scrim tape.

Literary event

Readings will be held by poetess Miljana Cunta, shortlisted for the Veronika Prize for the best poetry collection of 2010; writer and film director Goran Vojnović, author of the region’s bestselling novel in 2009, entitled Southern Scum Go Home; and essayist and poet Aleš Šteger, recipient of numerous prestigious awards and scholarships, whose work has been translated into more than a dozen languages. The readings will be held in Slovene and English, and printed extracts will be available in English.

Children’s workshop

Children (3–14yrs old) will be invited to create their own illustrations based on a story which will be assembled into a picture book and included into the exhibition.

Notes for editors

Beletrina Academic Press

Beletrina is one of the most highly esteemed literary imprints in Slovenia. Beletrina Academic Press has gained its reputation primarily by introducing prominent works of contemporary national and world literature to Slovene readers. The publisher’s goal is to set standards for a new publishing philosophy which, in addition to focusing on noncommercial titles and giving priority to inventiveness, freshness and directness, respects authors and invests considerable effort in the promotion of their work.

Beletrina‘s list of contemporary Slovene authors is essential, focused as it is on highly regarded writers who not only attract substantial attention today but promise to flourish for decades to come. Although the imprint emphasises younger prose writers and poets, many older and established authors have contributed to its richness and diversity.

Andreja Brulc

Andreja Brulc completed an MA in Art History at University College London, and worked in the Exhibitions Department at the Royal Academy of Arts for nearly ten years. After studying design, typography, illustration and printmaking at the London College of Communications, she won a public competition to become principal cover designer and illustrator for Beletrina. By end of her fourth year in this role she will have created more than 140 book covers, along with promotional material for books and literary festivals – and a series of murals in the publisher’s press room!

Her illustrations for Beletrina have been selected for prestigious national and international biennials of illustration. Her book covers were given an award of excellence at the 4th Biennial of Slovene Visual Communication (2009). She was nominated as an Honorary Member of the Slovene Design Society (2010) and has won the highest funding award given to an illustrator for 2010 by the Association of the Slovene Fine Artists’ Societies.

She has worked on many other projects, including the recent UNESCO-sponsored public art project, Baptism at the River Savica, which dressed the principal statue of Slovenia’s national poet, France Preseren, in a cloak covered in hand-made lettering from the poet’s longest work in verse. The national newspaper Dnevnik (22 May 2010) wrote that the poem was given “a form never seen before” and that “the project gave Ljubljana new artistic inspiration”.


Book covers and workshop:

Literary event:

Dreamspace Gallery:

Images are available.

Beletrina book cover designs / September 2010

Posted in Books by andrejabrulc on 05/09/2010
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