Senki Vlahović godišnja nagrada ULUPUDS-a

Senka Vlahović jedan je od dobitnika godišnje nagrade ULUPUDS-a (Udruženja likovnih umetnika primenjenih umetnosti i dizajnera Srbije) iz Beograda za stvaralaštvo u 2017. godini.

Nagrada se dodeljuje na osnovu predloga Slikarsko-grafičke sekcije ULUPUDS-a, čiji je Senka Vlahović član od 2014. godine, i odluke Umetničkog saveta ULUPUDS-a.

U zapisniku sa sastanka sekcije, kao obrazloženje predloga za nagradu, navedeno je: „Senka Vlahović je tokom 2017. godine objavila 3 knjige (dve stručne knjige u oblasti ilustracije i jedne umetničke), bila je član više žirija, organizator je i direktor BookiLL festivala, objavila je više tekstova i radova, a ima i brojne druge stručne i umetničke aktivnosti.” 

foto: Miloš Vojnović

Više o radu Senke Vlahović možete pročitati ovde:


Symposium of the 27th Biennial of Illustration in Bratislava, Slovakia, 2019.

Topic: Cult of the original illustration in the world of digital technology


*Published in:

M.A. Senka Vlahović

Banat Cultural Center, Novo Miloševo




Cult of the original illustration in the world of digital technology

The emergence of digital technologies, new forms of internet communication, the massive use of computers in the creation of artworks, especially in the graphics industry, the laws of the market, global society, creative economies, the gradual deletion of boundaries between fine and popular art, are all factors that have significantly influenced the issue of the original illustration. What is the original illustration? What is its value? What is its future? Why are we discussing the cult of the original illustration? Should the original not be implied, or have the said circumstances and context affected it to become a cult thing, rather than an ordinary and everyday thing? Or is it no longer implied that every illustration is an original?

It is necessary to add that we are not thinking of originality in the sense of artistic authenticity and unrepeatability, but of the original copy of an art piece as opposed to reproductions and multiplied printed copies or prints. When we speak of the original illustration, we have in mind an illustration that was created without the use of a computer and other types of technical devices. In other words, in case of a product of traditional graphic art techniques, that it has been signed and numbered. Digital and inkjet prints that we have today can also be signed and numbered, but the question arises as to how we are to treat them, as originals or not? In any case not in the same manner as we treat the ones mentioned previously. Another question is: are they equally worth?

The massive use of computers in the creation of not only illustrations, but also other visual artwork, the use of graphic boards, various programs, the combination of multiple images, photographs, scanned images and digitally processed drawings and the like, has resulted in the fact that the majority of illustrations nowadays are produced in this way, and not exclusively by hand, on paper, canvas, without the use of a machine, i.e. computer and additional digital equipment, and ultimately the printers themselves or screens, that make it possible for us to view those images as consumers.

Aleksa Jovanović (Serbia), digital illustration


Illustration is a product of applied art, but it is increasingly being appreciated and equated with the works of fine art. We are able to see illustrations in books, magazines, on screens, billboards, products, etc., but also in galleries, where they exist entirely independently, not as products of applied art, but as sovereign and autonomous works of art, most often based on telling a story (Heller, Arisman, 2006: xix).

It is precisely the pure essence of the original illustration that can be consumed exclusively in exhibition spaces and galleries, where the original illustration as such can be seen, unless the artist is a colleague or friend of ours and we have access to his studio or to the archives of a museum, library or collector. The moment when an illustration is incorporated into a book, a magazine, any type of graphics product or screen display, we no longer have the experience of viewing an original illustration, but its reproduction. A reproduction, no matter how faithful, and it is often not faithful enough, does not possess the specific charm and aura as the original illustration produced by hand. A reproduction depends on the scanner, camera, the quality of print, paper, design, context, printing format, and all those factors significantly affect how we will then experience this illustration. Sometimes these factors can work in favour and sometimes they are at the expense of the illustration. There are times when it looks better in the original, but there are also times when it is the other way around.

Aleksa Gajić (Serbia), original illustration, combined technique on paper

Bojana Dimitrovski (Serbia/Slovenia), original illustration, watercolour on paper


It also happens that the authors of the original and hand-produced illustrations, i.e. of illustrations created without the use of digital equipment, when they finish their work and when it is supposed to be reproduced in books and other graphic products, scan their work and process it on the computer themselves, correcting colours, contrasts, clearing smudges, making corrections of the things they do not like, various details, etc., which results in a somewhat modified artwork being sent for reproduction. This is the choice of the author himself, and the question of his work process, but it does affect the very end result. Can this then be called the same illustration?

We can view illustrations that were created as products of traditional graphic art techniques (works produced by printing off the original handmade matrices made out of wood, metal, stone, linoleum, etc.), and signed and numbered by the author, separately. These illustrations, just as the above-mentioned original illustrations, also have a kind of unrepeatability and uniqueness. They are printed in a limited number of numbered prints, and the quality and objective value are determined by the circulation and sometimes the serial number of the prints (Grozdanić, 2007: 237).

Photography in the function of illustration, i.e. photo-illustration, whose analogue aspect is nowadays a subject only amongst the biggest enthusiasts and aficionados, while digital technology has taken its primacy, represents yet another separate topic. Then again, numerous manipulations of photography make it possible for us today to have photomontages bordering on digital images, processed to such an extent that they are reminiscent of paintings and as such have a function of illustration. The truth is that their original copies are in fact an infinite number of zeros and ones.

Nikolina Petolas (Croatia), digital photo-illustration


Zeros and ones, stored on hard drives, represent a unique form of “originals” of digital illustrations, created exclusively on a computer or with the use of graphic boards, digital cameras, scanners and computer programs. Sometimes illustrators draw sketches or drawings on paper, scan them and create and colour digital illustrations based on them. Although, today, there is a growing number of those who handed their trust entirely over to digital technology and who store all products of their creation and spirit in imaginary sequences of zeros and ones. This has certainly been affected by market demands, the speed of work, the ease of work, the monitoring of trends, the effects that can be achieved, the use of photographs as templates, and the like.

Digitally created illustrations can most precisely and most accurately be viewed on a screen. But screen displays differ amongst themselves. Printers that print them differ as well. The shade and type of paper also have an effect. There are a lot of factors, so we cannot help but wonder where it is possible to view this virtual original most faithfully represented. Maybe solely on the screen of the illustrator himself. And even the eye of every human being is different, which causes even original illustrations to differ in the perception of each person, but these nuances are nevertheless largely negligible.

The prints of digital illustrations can also be signed by the author and numbered. The author selects a printer and a trusted printing company, which will provide the genuine shades of his work. Perhaps this is the most authentic representation of the printed digital illustration, when the author himself is satisfied with the print. But, in situations when we have the printing of, for instance, an illustrated book, the illustrator surrenders real control and trusts the publisher to hire a quality printing company.

A question of market values of the original and the prints can be posed here, of abuses concerning the number of prints, and the like. Digital technology has challenged the problem of authorship in various ways.

Two striking examples related to this topic will be mentioned: The Biennial of Illustration in Bratislava and the Book Illustration Festival “BookILL Fest” in Serbia.

The Biennial of Illustration in Bratislava has, in the last half a century, from its very establishment, dealt exclusively with the exhibition of original illustrations and this is one of its specificities. When we look at the Biennial exhibitions in the 21st century, we can see that today, half a century later, a very small number of illustrations represents the actual originals. The largest number of authors create illustrations by digital means. Still, if one had the opportunity to view, at one of the Biennials, the original illustrations and to see how they look when they are reproduced in books, one would notice an enormous difference. Sometimes the originals are far more noticeable, larger in format and leave a stronger impression, while in books they are smaller in size, limited by design and text, and acquire a completely different appearance and context than when they are in a gallery. Or when, side by side, in a gallery, we are able to view the prints in relation to the original illustrations, it appears that in digital illustrations there is a lack of genuineness, spontaneity, warmth and aura of an artwork. And again, this cannot make an original illustration more valuable in the artistic and aesthetic sense, than the one that was created by computer and printed. It is interesting that, in Japan, following each Biennial in Bratislava, an exhibition of the originals of the awarded illustrations is organized, where the organizers insist that the exhibited illustrations be originals. This is often not the case when it comes to the exhibitions of the Biennial in numerous other countries of the world, where it is exclusively the prints that are exhibited. It is also important to note that it is the authors who submit the digital illustration prints to the Biennial, and that the authors are the final judges of whether their digital art piece is adequately printed for the exhibition.

On the other hand, the far younger, eight-year old Book Illustration Festival “BookILL Fest” in Serbia, accepts works exclusively through the Internet, the works are judged in a digital format and all works for the exhibition are printed by the organizers as intermediaries. So, the ultimate arbiter of how the illustrations will look is the organizer himself. This manner of exhibition erases the differences between the original and the print. The technique is the only thing that differs, and it can only be ascertained whether something was created by using a traditional or digital technique. Likewise, the experience is lost in relation to the format, the background on which the original artwork was created, the texture and similar elements. But, what is gained is the speed and ease of communication, organization and transmission of a visual message. On the other hand, as the majority of illustrations were created by digital means, only a handful of works are actually robbed of the opportunity for the audience to experience them in all their authenticity by this manner of exhibiting.

These two examples are located at the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the problem of the originals and digital prints in the field of illustration in the contemporary world, because it is precisely at big international exhibitions that the cross-section of the current illustration production can be seen.

We can see that the problems related to original illustrations and those that were created digitally are very complex. We are left to wonder what the future holds for illustrations, which are increasingly being created on computers, but also what the future holds for art itself or for the printing industry, and ultimately what the future of the material world is in relation to the virtual. Where is the boundary that humanity should not cross, is the virtual world a threat or an advantage? Will all illustrations in the future be on screens? Does this even matter, or is the most important thing that communication through art is realized? But, this communication also depends on the context, medium, format, numerous factors. Is the generation of millennials, i.e. those who grew up with digital technology and the Internet, actually more accustomed to the screen, than to the printed, tangible book or picture in a gallery?

It is my personal belief that man, as nevertheless a part of the material world, possesses an essential and natural need for everything that belongs to that world. But he is also a spiritual being, and spiritual messages are transmitted in other ways as well, through images, sounds, words, intangible formats, which are quite well and easily transmitted digitally. Worldwide museums are, despite virtual reality, full and everyone still wants to see the Mona Lisa or Klimt’s Kiss. Technology has advanced and changed, but what truly drives the human spirit has always had that effect, though the centuries, and that is why it represents a work of lasting value. Original illustrations will, in the future, in the least, survive as a cult thing and their value can only grow, along with the required aesthetic value. Digitally created illustrations, as strings of zeros and ones, in their screen-adapted and printed forms, are just a new format for the transmission of those universal and lasting values and messages that humanity has carried through art for centuries.




Grozdanić, Mile, Put do knjige, Publikum, Beograd 2007.

Heller, Steven; Arisman, Marshall, Teaching illustration, Allworth Press, New York 2006.

Vlahović, Senka; From illumination to the Video-illustration of a book: A New Perspective on Illustration and Creating the Image of a Book in the Public: Abridged translated edition, Banatski kulturni centar, Novo Miloševo 2017.

Vlahović, Senka, Ilustracija govori sve jezike: Nagrade Festivala ilustracije knjige BookILL fest 2012–2017 / Ilustration speaks all languages: Awards of the Book Illustration Festival BookILL fest 2012–2017, Banatski kulturni centar, Novo Miloševo 2017.


Illustration references

Albahari, David; Banović, Siniša; Gajić, Aleksa... [et al.], SRPSKE narodne bajke : za decu XXI veka, Čarobna knjiga, Beograd 2012

Dimitrovski, Bojana; Todorović, Dana, Cickove avanture, Kreativni centar, Beograd 2016.

Novak, Nikoleta; Jovanović, Aleksa, Maštovita žirafa, Pčelica izdavaštvo, Čačak 2017

Petolas, Nikolina,

Translation by Dunja Aleksandrovski

Senka Vlahović: Search (from the book ROOTED IN THE SKY)

From Serbian tr. by J. Graham an S. P.
Photo-illustration by Senka Vlahović

Tatjana u plavom krugu

Iz knjige „Banatska Venera i junak Dimitrij” (Banatski kulturni centar, 2020)

Autor teksta i ilustracija: Senka Vahović


Tatjana među javom i međsnom:

Kocka je bačena. Nit je prekinuta. Konac crvenog kruga pokidan. Bajku nadjača stvarnost. Zubato sunce otopilo snegove sibirske, zloslutni vetrovi rasterali magle i rosu, i suze, i slast, i žrtvu, i greh, i barjak junaka čelnog, i skrivene tajne, mračne kute, i bezimene vražje oči što iz kraljevskog nesvesnog vire. Tad javi se radost novog rađanja, nove svetlosti, novog izvora i novog Istoka i kaže: „Nek’ si, kocko, bačena! Nek’ si otišla! Nek’ si se otkotrljala u novi-stari svet. Nek’ si zvonkim lupkanjem otkotrljavanja probudila jednu usnulu dušu! Dve duše.“

Jesmo li to mi, Dimitrij, sanjali o rađanju Sunca na Istoku, o čistoti snegova sibirskih i vrelini ljubavi iskonske, čedne, grešne, žestoke, nežne, nestvarne. Nepostojeće.

Dimitrij, ti si samo san. Ti ni ne postojiš. Ti si samo odbegli stanovnik skaske. Izbeglica u mojim odajama. Krcko, Filip, zver, tamo neki Karamazov, neki Strahinja, neki kosovski junak, Lazar, Valijant, krstaš, legionar, jedan banatski junak u plavom krugu čije je srce zvezda...

Ma ti si bekrija! Bećar! Mito, Dimitrij, da li si, strah me od pomisli, da li si bio stvaran?

(Budna sanja. Java u snu. Srce u glavi, razum u srcu, duša na nebu, toplo telo, glava plava, u biserima se davi, kupa, praćaka. Iz ušiju loza niče. Grožđe il` pasulj čarobni, stepenice od pahulja idu ka oknima rajskim...)


Tatjana u plavom krugu:

Sanjam, jasno čujem i glas i eho. Anastasija zove, Dimitrij. Šeta plavu dušu sibirskim šumama, po snegu bez tragova hoda, sa vezom zlatnim u haljini blistavoj. Anastasija, Dimitrij, topi srebrne pahulje ljubavlju slovenskom i kaže, doziva:

„Dođite pod moje okrilje carsko! Vi, koji ste odbačeni, nepriznati, skriveni, nemoćni, stradalni i nesretni, nepravdom obavijeni. Usmrćeni, živi nedorečeni... Primite blagoslov i celiv carski i mučenički!“

Dimitrij, to smo mi... Hajde, idemo! Majka zove! Vetar dobar s naše strane, banatske. Puna jedra moje srce kreću. Hajde, ljubav je to. Vidiš li, osetiš li kako pogled osvaja Istok? Čuješ li golubice u grudima? Ne boj se, imaš snagu u žuljevima. Raduj se, mladost kosu viori, sve zove, sve ide, napred, u pobedu, u pobedu strasti i nečistog! Da na prestolju večno stoji:

Sunce. Duh. Ljubav. 

(Matuška pravoslavnaja, beskrajni plavi krug, zvezda, ponor izgubljenih devojačkih snova i utočište dendija, večitih putnika, mrguda i bitangi, militara, što nigde skras našli nisu. Nigde sebe. Što samokažnjavaju svoju ludost jer će je jedino tako zarobiti, a možda će ih neko na podvižnčkoj trasi samožrtvovanja i pratiti. Il’ u domovini, beskrajnoj, ravnoj, plodnoj, ocvasti i čekati. Ima li gordosti konca, otpadu tog sumornog samoljublja što ždere i čistu ljubav duhovnu i onu putenu? Ima li stvarnosti kad se ljubi? Ima li istine za Tatjanu? Ima li milosti? Prosvetljena il’ luda ona postaje kad se skaska i java negde sretnu. Dve priče iz različitih svetova. Ovostranog i onostranog. Pesma i belina papira. Kao jarci na brvnu. Kao dva kraja konca crvenog što u čvor jedan drugog dozivaju.)



Tatjana, soko ženski:

Sad, kad sam se probudila, i očni mišić naprežem, trepavicama brojim trenutke, prisećam se sna o tebi, banatski junače, bunila slatkog kao pričešće. Otvaram oči širom. Vidim oštro kao soko ženski. Stojim na vrhu brda sećanja. Osluškujem prazninu ledine.

Plovim suvom travom. Zvono. Koraci vuneni.

Oštra travka lagano se njiše.

Gledam u Sunce. Škiljim. Krajičak usne. Osmeh. 

(Razmnožila se i raspršila po pašnjaku u bezbroj cvetova i bubamara. Svaki tračak izrastao iz zemlje njen je nervni završetak. Sunce je puni energijom. Isceljuje. Oseća neku čudnu slobodu. Punoću slobode i kreacije. Sopstveni odraz najboljim prijateljem i ljubavlju poznaje. Raduje se, raduje, spoznaji i životu.)



Tatjana čoveku sa dva imena (jedno je ratnik, a drugo pesnik):

U moru reči i slika, osetila sam protok energije, toplinu duha. Poznala sam da smo, božjim promislom, istog dana rođeni. Videla sam u daljini most na kom bismo se mogli sresti i vinuti, poleteti ujedinjeni, a nesputani. Sanjala sam kako u tvom zagrljaju dobijam krunu dok na pegazu letimo iznad najviših brda, okeana, ravnica i ove moje žitnice plodne, što i tvoja obećana zemlja je, vrli pesniče.

(Dobrovoljnog izgnanstva posle, deset hiljada krugova oko Sunca kasnije, iz lukovice zatrpane klica ka nebu uzdigla se.)

Ilustracije za knjigu „Banatska Venera i junak Dimitrij” Senke Vlahović

Illustrations for the book "Venus of Banat and Hero Dimitry" (2020) 
Written and illustrated by Senka Vlahović


Više o knjizi:



(Сенка Влаховић: Банатска Венера и јунак Димитриј, Банатски културни центар Ново Милошево, 2020)


Сенка Влаховић (1985), визуелна уметница, илустраторка и ауторка стручних књига о илустрацији, објавила је и лепу мултимедијалну књигу Банатска Венера и јунак Димитриј, у којој истовремено „дишу“ обе уметности за које је Влаховићева надарена: ликовна уметност и књижевност. Тако естетичка категорија лепо у пуном смислу речи обележава ово дело.

О спрези поезије и сликарства говорили су још и писци и теоретичари давних епоха (поменимо, у плејади многих, Хорација и Лесинга), а та спрега потпуно је оваплоћена у овој Сенкиној књизи. Рецензенткиње – Лидија Цветић Вучковић, теоретичарка уметности, и Марија Јефтимијевић Михајловић, књижевна критичарка – сагласне су у мишљењу да вредносну димензију књиге подједнако творе обе уметности. Можемо додати: у овом делу влада естетска једнакост двају знаковних система. Јер, суптилна лепота и тајанство илустрација не ремете исту такву лепоту и тајанство књижевног штива, него оба медија овде показују колико је уметност симболичка форма људског духа и постојања...

Књижевни јунаци ових поетских записа (који имају и фину лирску нарацију) јесу Банатска Венера Татјана и јунак Димитриј, њен сан и жудња. Но, ови јунаци нису једнообразни: Татјана Ларина – „пресељена у 21. век“ да и ту сања своју сродну душу – није само Пушкинова Татјана, него је и Лазина Ленка, и епска Косовка девојка, и Грушењка, јунакиња Достојевског... Она је, може се рећи, архетип жене која чека, исто тако као што је њен Димитриј истовремено – и Оњегин, и Карамазов, и Вук Исакович, и Мита Бекрија; значи, архетип ратника, несмиреника, луталице... Тако протејски преображаји прате и јунакињу и јунака, док сама Татјана, осим што поприма црте различитих јунакиња, постаје и – део природе („булка у житу“, стр. 11; „безброј цветова и бубамара“, стр. 37), а плодна земља банатска и бескрај плаветнила активирају митску слику спајања земље и неба (и на ликовном плану и у књижевном тексту). Дакле, и дубина метафизичка и давнина књижевних слика настањују ову Сенкину књигу.

Књигу настањује и фина интертекстуалност која потиче не само од различитих јунака и појмова из области књижевности, религије и митологије, него произилази и из алузија на поједина књижевна дела, а такође је интертекстуалност видљива и на плану израза: ту су скривени цитати и алузије на „бескрајни плави круг и звезду“ и на многа друга дела књижевне прошлости; ту је и посебна лексика, између осталог и црквена, библијска, химнична... Није можда случајност то што је за мото књиге узет стих из Соломонове Песме над песмама, неприкосновене химне љубави. А узвишена књига о љубави јесто и ово дело, у ком се суптилно стапају еротика и невиност, како у речима јунакиње Татјане тако и у самим илустрацијама, где су честе слике мача, нара, пшенице... Јединство тела и душа, као идеал сваке љубави, и тихи позив Татјанин ратнику да постане и песник – јесте фина градација у овој поетској прози, коју такође краси и посебна музика синтаксе, реченична мелодија што разбокорено бóји сваки од ових двадесетак лирских записа и у сваком достиже једну лепу смисаоно-мелодијску градацију.

Кад је реч о осталим стилским средствима, вреди поменути песнички дар Сенке Влаховић да употреби оригиналну и разгранату метафору, као и друге стилске фигуре: поређења, персонификације, хиперболе и остале фигуре које у читаоцу стварају упечатљиве слике, тако да је ово дело заиста – и песма и слика. Ту су и хијазми, посебни укрштаји супротности, на пример: „Будна сања. Јава у сну. Срце у глави, разум у срцу“ (...) А звучне фигуре заступљене у књизи (попут анафора, асиндета, полисиндета и других) такође овим записима дају чар и звучност стихова;  поезија по себи јесу и Татјанине речи али и коментари о Татјани, у загради, који потичу од песника-наратора.

У сваком књижевном делу важни су простор и време. Као што се јунаци једначе, мењају и узрастају, тако се преплићу (и узрастају) и простори и времена... Банатска равница, сибирска степа, и – бескрајни плави круг. Прошлост, савременост, и – вечност (оличена у „десет хиљада кругова око Сунца“, када се створила „клица“, у епилогу књиге о Банатској Венери и јунаку Димитрију). А простор и време, сан и јава, подсвест и свест расплићу се као оно црвено клупко (везивно ткиво ове књиге) које се може доживети и као клупко инспирације што покреће белину папира на којој настају – и Песма и Слика.

Песма и слика, „највећа истина која беше у Бога“, у овом Сенкином делу еманирају посебну светлост и духовност. Кад је реч о бојама, поред црвене, преовлађује плава, а пратилац плаве боје често је  и жута, или жуто-златна боја. Плаво и златно које подсећају на духовност икона... Но ту је и она неказана светлост која произилази из песничких речи... Укупно узев, она светлост што „греје нам и тела и душе“. Нека се овим Татјаниним речима заврши наш покушај да дочарамо књижевно-уметничку вредност овог оригиналног остварења Сенке Влаховић.

Маја Белегишанин

Utisci čitalaca, Sanja Obradović


Banatska Venera i junak Dimitrij, Senka Vlahović

Bez velike analize, punog srca, pročitala sam i sagledala vokovizuel.

Glatka harmonija izložbenih ilustracija, o kojima bi se moglo  puno pisati i prihvatiti izazov slika i reči.

Zimska ljubičice. Sibir te doneo na Banatsko tlo u dioptriji prirode, osmehom delfina u očima nosoroga plavetnila. Setna i čeznutljiva Devo, mačuju se kape dvojne. Zemlja krvari u klupku Senkine kosmate zvezde. Žiznj nebeska kreacija Zemlje. Svaka rana zemlji, otvara školjku. Biser si narom raspolućen. Spiš u naručju do sledećeg buđenja, slasnog ukusa južnog voća. Pljuckaš zrnevlje, plodne ravnice. Prosuta prvorotka punoglavca. Dovoljno čvrsto na zemlji, a već sledećeg momenta, neuhvatljivo lepršaš nebesima. Klupko rodno. Naizgled nežna, a veoma oštra. Alka u nozdrvi, dvojne muskulature.

Sad mogu, kad god poželim, da gledam ovu prelepu Zlatokosu, u čahuri gusenice, šesterca u devetercu. Tradicionalno klupko, koje nas nitima voda tamo-amo. Bejzbol lopta u plodonosnim dinjama.

Prosto nisam mogla da odolim. Što ti pripada, treba da je kod tebe.

Želim ti puno uspeha u budućem radu.

Tekst nastao 30. juna 2020. godine, nakon otvaranja izložbe u Novom Sadu

Sanja Obradović rođena Čikara