“The yard where my atelier, Owl, is located is home to various activities — there is a bicycle repair shop, architectural bureau, seal manufacturing, locksmith, café… It is a community that entices me to work and gives me a sense of connectedness.”
Lidia Boševski is a renowned Croatian middle-generation artist, working in a range of fields from painting and graphics to ceramics and product design. She has an education from the Applied Arts School in Zagreb and Faculty of Textile Technology in Zagreb, where she graduated in the field of textile and clothing design in 1984. The first phase of her creative endeavour was marked by intensive activity in painting and graphics, while after 2000 she turned to product design as well, working primarily with ceramics, but also with other materials.
Together with her husband Zoran Boševski, in 1995 she opened the independent atelier Owl in Vlaška street, where visitors can get acquainted with her objects and see how they are made. In design, Lidija Boševski is inspired by exploring natural forms and phenomena, as well as the relationship between matter and time. We managed to talk to her for a while to find out how her workspace and its position within the city affect her work and daily life.
Lidia Boševski: I consciously decided to live in Voćarsko settlement above Vlaška street because of the beautiful green belt and intimate atmosphere of a small settlement in the centre of the city. The search for an atelier was the next logical step, and the most important factors were that it had to be in a secluded and quiet corner, but lively in the sense of work atmosphere. This neighbourhood, Vlaška street and the surroundings of Martićeva, is a part of the city with a life of its own, it is more intimate than the very centre. The beginning of old Vlaška street, where the old spirit of the city is still preserved in the details, and Ribnjak park, which connects us to the Upper Town, are the starting points of the neighbourhood and its distinctive features at the same time. The yard at Vlaška 81a where my atelier, Owl, is located is home to various activities — there is a bicycle repair shop, architectural bureau, seal manufacturing, locksmith, café, catering, various courses in Transplant association… It is a community that entices me to work and gives me a sense of connectedness.
I enjoy walking from Voćarsko settlement to my atelier every morning because I get to start each day in nature, thanks to the precious forest that spreads all the way to Šalata. In Vlaška, I sometimes make a detour to get a roll or a pie from Ivić delicatessen, or some freshly squeezed juice from Juice Box. I always have coffee in Franjo café in the yard of my atelier, where all the neighbours always gather and talk to each other for a while before work.
In general, it is nice that Dan D design festival has been organized in the abandoned building of the former military hospital in Vlaška because the space has great potential, and young creatives have started to paint the walls of an unfinished garage nearby, which has attracted tourist-photographers to that corner, next to Džamonja atelier.
There are still many artists, designers and small manufactures without their own space in Zagreb, and there are several unused yard spaces. Open ateliers, multifunctional culture centres, manufactures for old and new crafts… I think that the neighbourhood and the city can improve and develop in that direction, because such intimate units make the real life of the city.