giovedì 27 marzo 2014

My visit to Bologna's Children Bookfair (part 1)

Everything was ready for my visit to Bologna's Children Bookfair  but this time I did not leave with  the same enthusiasm as the previous years.
Last months were intense with work and studying.
From october to january I followed  a course at the School of Applied Arts in Milan. It was not easy to organize everything since I live four hour's train from there.
I learned how to make books, I confronted myself with other artists and illustrators, and I understood some important things.
While I was  going to and fro Milan, I was  asked to teach  in a public school (short period). ...Things never come alone!!!
My awful English does not show on my behalf, but I have a degree in foreign Languages (eg. French and English...would you believe it?)
The strong depression in my country has left me with little artistic work (which I like very much to do, but I cannot live on it) so I  thought it was wise to accept it.  The experience made me reflect upon words and images.
Recently I was at a conference on Antoine de la Garanderie  and the menthal method. I was struck by the words of a teacher :
"Knowledge is like food" she said "Sapere è Sapore" (meaning Knowledge is Taste"). "We must be careful not to give children TOO MUCH: knowledge, like food,  must be digested  and should be simple".
While I was teaching I thought a lot about La Garanderie and the knowledge-food analogy.
This is also, not surprizingly, true for images and consequently our fruition of art: thank also to the web image paradise we have too much of everything!
I started my visit to the Fair with the idea  I had already "overeaten" and I did not want  really to have anything else.
What I did arriving to Bologna was to rest and walk in the beautiful countryside  were my B&B was with my husband and daughter.

a blooming pink magnolia in front of my window 

On monday though I  was ready to  spend my day at the Fair.
Since last year so many of us visitors took pictures of books  the organization put most of the books inside glass.
Here you can see the  books chosen for the Bologna Ragazzi Award

I liked this book  with colourful squares, it made me remember a game I had when I was a child (a large plastic  holed square you had to fill with coloured  nails...have you had anything of the kind?)
I later discovered it is a new trend in today's illustration.

..a new version of Cinderella...

... and of Whitesnow

Thank to my recent studies I could appreciate this leporello 

As I strode among the stands I saw Ana Juan  at the Logos Stand for booksigning

Here some of the colourful posters at the stands....

Another section was dedicated to  a hundred books chosen among  the best sellers. They were all hanging from the wall

The fair is in four buildings, of which two are mostly dedicated to foreign countries. I really loved some stands...but I forgot to get the names of the publishing houses!

This was a japanese version of our paper doll (I played a lot with these when I was young)

I found Korean unpublished young writers really interesting. I wish I could take more pictures , but a kind young man followed me everywhere asking me not to ...

this was my favourite: "The thorny mountain", the story of a high thorny mountain crossing al the pages, with no words but  houses, animals and various things drawn inside the black

This was another black and white book, in watercolour

Child-like pencil drawings

coloured pencils, different style

Time runs and I still have lots of books to see!

Colourful umbrellas on my head while passing through the halls:

Kastumi Komagata was at the Illustrator's Café presenting his work. I liked him very much. I heard him say:
"I do not make books, I  create conditions in which books can be made...."

The part I liked best was the exhibition of a couple of illustrators Nina Wherle and Evelyne Laube "It's raining elephants"
I find their work with all the ingredients I need in this period,  genius and  simplicity 

...couloured footprints...

Next post I will tell you about my second (and last day) at the Fair

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