Born in Tirana, Albania, 28 April 1977
a multi-lingual, nature and people loving Albanian female artist with a keen eye for fine detail. Specialised in oils, graphics, illustrations and graphic and coin design. An illustrator of books and magazines for children, a former teacher of arts at Tirana High School of Arts “Jordan Misja” with an extensive experience as an in-house graphic designer for the Central Bank of Albania.
My name is Brikena Berdaj. Since 2002, I have been working as an in-house designer for the central Bank of Albania. Working for the central bank is very challenging and interesting, at the same time, as I am engaged in numerous and diverse projects and tasks. My main task consisted in the design and layout for bank publications: periodical, non-periodic, educational, and promotional documents. In addition, I contributed substantially to determining a corporate design, defining an institutional image that would identify the central bank in various public activities such as conferences, numismatic exhibitions or other topical activities related to economics, money, financial education, etc.
As an artist and designer, I have had the opportunity to participate in competitions and working groups. I have also served as a jury member for the selection of thematic issues for numismatic coins as well as for the evaluation of contestant drawings for the latest coins or banknotes, such as of 2000 Albanian lek of 2010 or 10,000 Albanian lek of 2018.
For years, coin designing has attracted me. I remember how excited I was when I was entrusted with the design of the 50 lek numismatic coin, without a legal tender, named “Codex Purpureus Beratinus 043 Φ”, back in 2006. The “Codex Purpureus Beratinus” itself is a unique and precious cultural heritage of the Albanians. In 2005, the Codex (featuring gospel writings in gold against a purple background) was registered in the UNESCO “Memory of the world”. This was my first experience with coin design, later followed by some commemorative medallions. An artistic materialisation of a concept on a small rounded plate of a few inches is a challenging task. It is equally very magical. It is a kind of a tiny sculpture, a synthesis of the subject matter, a mix of space and shapes proportioning, volumes, text, emotion and inspiration define the work. One have to get out of the ordinary and inside-the-box thinking.
I set out to find inspiration inwardly, and then let the
details of the main concept flow out forcefully and freely. Then I watch the single elements of the concept idea land smoothly and quietly on the imaginary canvas that will host them and give them a place until the concept idea materialises and takes a final shape. This is a long process and requires abundant information and lots of thinking, imagination and resourceful skills. My experience has taught me to try to visualise first my piece of art, depict in on the canvas of my imagination, draw clear lines to form shapes, as I then transfer this picture on a computer software.
Another significant and voluminous task was the design of the panels for the permanent exhibition of the Museum of the Bank of Albania. Its original building dating in 1938, was designed by the Italian Architect Vittorio Ballio Morpurgo, and is considered a national monument in Albania. The old building underwent major overhauling in 2010 under the supervision of another Italian architect M. Petreschi. The renovation project foresaw the establishment of a money museum within the Bank’s building. After the completion of the works, a large team of economists, architects, historians, and numismatist was established to design and implement graphic panels and walls of the museum. It was a great responsibility, but also an immense pleasure for me to be a member of this team and see my ideas and work materialised and displayed in the Museum.
The website features a selection of works of art in a dedicated section. I have realised these works over the years, inspired by different events and moods. The painting is what fills my professional puzzle. It's something I do systematically, whenever I feel free.
This website is a modest collection of my portfolio, of the most beloved and most important works over many years. It is also a tribute to those fellow hard-working colleagues, who love what they do and who have supported and trusted me. Good works are those that come from many intelligent minds.