Luxury of freedom


Nastja Mezek, BB artist who reminds us about the power of the collective

BIG BERRY is based on a close collaboration between tourism and artists, and so, BB Art colony project was created. During two years 17 international artists created 373 m2 of murals and a street full of art along the Kolpa river. Nastja Mezek is a young artist with a master's degree in painting. She created a special mural for us about the BB University project, through which dozens of students from all over the world have contributed to the development of BIG BERRY. Her mural story is a contemporary interpretation of the project itself - as multiple heads come together it creates space for flourishing ideas in the most creative way.

You can read more about her BB University mural.

She said of the BB Art Colony project: "It's nice to have more of us working together. Like a village, which will be integrated into one."


Who is Nastja Mezek?

Nastja Mezek is an interesting young artist with a master's degree in painting. Her distinctive fluid style gives her the opportunity to work in a variety of settings - currently, scenography is her main field. About herself, she says, A calm person, not prone to conflict. I'm trying to be empathic and good."

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Her work is defined as: "The combination of analogue and digital, as lately I've been manipulating my analog drawings or images through computer programs."

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She doesn’t find herself overly creative, more "sensitive to the environment, an observer", from where she also draws most of her creativity. “I have never considered myself to be someone with a lot of imagination, but I also don't feel like it is crucial. It's something you have or don't have, depending on whether or not you create your own worlds and filters. I'm more of a documentarist." 

How did she develop as an artist? 

"As a kid, I first had the unambitious dream of being a cleaner because my mother was a cleaner at one stage too," she said laughing. "Then I wanted to be an archeologist because I lived in the Kras and it was my primary game to always walk the thunderstorm, alone, as an only child in the village and exploring nature, scratching the earth, looking for valuables."

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However, art was always important: I always loved to draw and to create, but I think I really started leaning towards it only at the end of elementary school, when I had to enroll in high school, and at that time I found out that there was an art high school in Nova Gorica and said it was for me."

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Arts and artists are usually associated with poverty, which is why many young people do not opt for the profession. Nastja says: I never thought about what would happen in the future and that I would be financially stable. It's different now, but it really wasn't then."

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She enrolled in painting at the Academy, which impressed her in high school. She hardly considers herself a painter and explains: After I graduated from college, this was never my primary job. It has a big impact when you have to start limiting your creation to the size of your desk and moving more and more to your computer and to more applied artistic directions."

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She also warned young people to make choices in a way that they could apply the things they have learnt during their studies, which she missed a bit. Nowadays, she takes on different parts that "pay the bills," as she says herself - from waitress, to various more professional art workshops, and most of all she is engaged in her favorite -  theatre scenography and scenography in various cultural events.

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The Luxury of Freedom 

Each person understands this differently, for each one it represents something different. Nastja associates the Luxury of Freedom with the social component: “That studying can be available for everyone, that we don't have to think whether we can or can’t afford it financially. That I’m allowed to get sick and to be safe to some extent. There is a lot of freedom attached to finances and to not being necessarily dependent on someone else in order to survive. Financial stability of the individual and freedom for me means to have the same conditions. To have the same starting positions. 

Photo by: João Sousa, Borut Petrič