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RiP Sandra Eterović

Melbourne-based illustrator Sandra Eterović has died.

Eterović graduated from the University of Melbourne with Honours in Art History in 1992 and was the recipient of the Dwight Final Examination Prize in Fine Arts that same year.

Beginning in 2010, Eterović worked as a freelance illustrator on a number of Australian-authored book projects, including Nova Weetman’s The Secrets We Keep and The Secrets We Share (both UQP), Meet Sidney Nolan (Yvonne Mes, Random House Australia Children’s), Iris and the Tiger (Leanne Hall, Text) and The Endsister (Penni Russon, A&U). In 2017, Iris and the Tiger was nominated by the Australian Book Designers Association in the Best Designed Children’s Book Category.

Text Publishing art director Imogen Stubbs writes:

‘Working with Sandra was a delight and a privilege. I had long admired her craft and illustrations and it was wonderful to have her work on the cover and internal illustrations for Leanne Hall’s Iris and the Tiger. The creative process was fast, efficient and plentiful—all the things you’d hope for in a collaboration—and we ended up with a design full of colour, quirk and fun. I was so happy that it went on to be shortlisted for the Australian Book Design Awards in 2017: a further nod to Sandra’s brilliance. Her talent and personality will be missed.’

Penni Russon, author of The Endsister (A&U), writes:

‘Sandra’s work conveys the complexity of Australia for me, not just through her iconography but through colour and light and a peculiar blend of irreverence and humility—the same ironic tone I hear whenever people say “Straya”. It’s a migrant’s love for ordinary people, places and moments of Australianness; Sandra’s work is witty, bright, and empathetic, but it can also be quietly political and subversive. I feel lucky every time I look at the cover [of The Endsister]—it’s a beautiful and intelligent and responsive “reading” of the book, what more could an author ask? And now it’s an enduring connection to Sandra, who will be greatly missed.’

PRH Young Readers commissioning editor Kimberley Bennett writes:

‘We are so deeply saddened to hear of the death of Sandra Eterović. Working with Sandra was a true pleasure, not least because she displayed so many of the qualities that make her art so appealing: curiosity, a keen eye for foibles and the absurd, and wry humour balanced with kindness, warmth and decency. Our condolences to her family and friends.’

UQP children’s and young adult publisher Kristina Schulz writes:

‘Sandra Eterović was a joy to work with—always creative, fun and full of ideas and she produced images that were thoughtful and full of depth and empathy. She was a talent and will be missed by all at UQP. Our thoughts are with Sandra’s friends and family.’

(Image credit: David Patston)


Category: Obituaries