Luxury of freedom


Taja Sever – kukamkuro, our BB artist who made BB Family mural with the help of her family


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. Taja Sever –  kukamkuro is an artist who creates memorable and useful tourist souvenirs. For us, however, she returned to her beginnings, children's drawings and made a mural with the theme of family, with sweet help from her family.

You can read more about the mural about families, BB families.

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Who is Taja Sever? 

Taja Sever is, despite her many successes and the fact that she makes a very successful living in art, very modest. "I'm not at all an artist, I'm more rational," she says. When she was a child, she dreamed of being a florist or hairdresser because these were the only two shops near her home. "But it felt nice because they were creative," she adds, admitting that she had been drawing from a young age: "The edges of my notebooks were always painted and covered with drawings. I always had drawings of animals which were telling me what to do. I'll never forget it."

After studying landscape architecture, she found herself in the world of illustrations, and nowadays she is mainly engaged in the production of innovative tourist souvenirs. "The children's drawings were in focus of attention, not so much anymore, because I started to get a little more entrepreneurial, as the market for great illustrators seems to be quite saturated. So I started with some new Slovenian tourist products. I don't just design patterns for them, but I take care of the whole process - from idea and design to execution."


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How did she come up with her own brand - kukamkuro? 

It started while making her final thesis, when she was exploring Slovenian landscapes that appeared on postcards: "It was about studying what these postcards convey to tourists, how Slovenia presents itself." And then it occurred to her, the idea of presenting Slovenia even better and differently.

Today, she combines her products under her own brand - kukamkuro: "The name comes from looking at Slovenia - kukamkura (author's remark: the dialect term for watching a hen). To see it through my products as a local or as a tourist, to see through them what Slovenia is. These are traditional crafts, elements of landscapes.” This is a modern interpretation of traditional Slovenian products, to which Taja gives an applied note. For example, she created a kitchen cloth with an interpretation of the Slovenian folklore pattern and a hot pan pad on which Idrija lace is imprinted.

She further explained: “I would like to see kukamkuro become a recognizable brand. In order to be able to use all this old Slovenian art on everyday useful items, which I find important for the Slovenian identity, to present ourselves through this. We have a lot of that, but in modern times I don't feel like these things are useful, they are souvenirs, but it seems nice that these things would be useful in a slightly different form."


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Mural for families

When Taja got an invitation to come to Bela krajina, she immediately accepted as a young mother of two beautiful girls, she brought her whole family for inspiration and a nice weekend. So even the theme - family, was tailored for her. Her mural represents our guests, all forms of families who actively socialize in the nature of Bela krajina and create memories together. It was the first time she made a mural of this size, and it was a little intimidating at first, and having rain as an additional »assistant« didn't make it easier. But, in the end, she made it and she made it extraordinary. With this mural, she had a bit of nostalgic throw-back to her beginnings - the brush and children's drawings.

You can read more about the mural on this link.


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About the BB Art colony project and BIG BERRY

An important part of the BIG BERRY Art Colony project is the possibility of socialization among artists, they shared experiences and really enjoyed the time they spent with us, which Taja agreed: "It's great, everyone I met are nice, they are people I admire from afar and then you get to know them here and find that they too know your work."


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I would associate BIG BERRY with, for many, nostalgic book The Famous Five: “Maybe because they were there all the time writing about food and ginger beer and fresh eggs and nuts. They always ate and always found a farm somewhere. It is also a little mysterious - as it was this morning, when the fog was over the river."

Photo by: João Sousa, Borut Petrič