Monday, 4 November 2013

le immagini della fantasia, Sàrmede. October, Monday 28th

once upon a time, a funny man armed with crayons and watercolors left Prague, wandered around Europe for a while, then came to live in a hilly village of the Veneto countryside, bringing colors, creativity, talking animals, imagination,  butterflies and childlike joy with him. 

the most beautiful Zavřel's book, un sogno a venezia

the village is called Sàrmede, and now, even if the funny man is gone and living just in his colorful artworks, the place is known as il paese delle fiabe: the fairytales town.  i'm talking about the illustrator Štěpán Zavřel, born in Prague in 1932, who lived in Rugolo di Sàrmede from 1968 until the day he passed away in 1999. he has been one of the most important illustrators of the european arena in the last thirty years. 

Gabriel Pacheco's illustration that is the poster of le immagini della fantasia 31

when i said he brought colors to Sàrmede i ment it literally: he has painted frescoes on some houses walls that still adorn the streets of the town. then, in 1983, Zavřel co-created the exhibition of children's illustrations called le immagini della fantasia {the images of fantasy}, which now, after 31 years, is an international event. so colors, creativity, and imaginations are still coming to Sàrmede, with many artists from all over the world.
one of the Sàrmede's frescoes. and me.

it opened on october 26th, and we paid a visit the next monday. it's a date, a personal rainbow: marco and i love to visit le immagini della fantasia every year, and my inner child can't have enough fairytales. 

illustrated book
Cristina Pieropan (Italia)
Camilla Engman (Sweden)
the exhibition is divided into three sections. the first one, panorama 2013, showcases 30 illustrators  from all over the world, offering an overview on the finest recently published books
then, there is the guest of honor's section, dedicate to the mexican artist Gabriel Pacheco. his works are poems without words. soft and intense.
silence enfolds us like an imperceptible chord. the moon basks in admiration, like a lovely story. it beams down upon us. we play at making out shapes in its markings, just like you do with clouds: a crab, a drum, a rabbit. a child reads quietly, surrounded by the subtle nuance that silence brings: he is wholly captivated by the book. he reads about the god Quetzalcoatl, in the mexican legend about the rabbit and the moon. the tales arouse and recall memories. reading takes us into the oneiric dimension of the imagination. above us an entire sky: a band of aged musicians whose expression is profound. or perhaps it is the nocturnal sky that has taken on the appearance of the musicians; they play sweet music, whilst a child imagines them.

illustrated book by Gabriel Pacheco

the third section hosts  the theme of the year (i still remember the cat's year with love!), and 2013 is dedicated to tales, legends, symbols from Mexico.
remarkable indigenous figures of Mexico's ancient people are still alive in their tales: mother earth, talking animals who discovered precious corn, the mythical feathered serpent and its duality of sky and earth, princes and princesses held back from their love, the great grandmother of light and her mischievous grandchildren… highly evocative manifold cultural elements that also interweave with later cultures betterknown to us. 
bright red walls explained meaning and sense of tigradacatrinanahual, quetzacoatl, alebrije.. twelve symbols were chosen to create an illustrated mosaic, designed to make us feel the mexican voices, flavours,charm, traditions. 

mexican symbols

Frida Kahlo, a book by Maria Baranda illustrated by Gabriel Pacheco

le immagini della fantasia, since the first editions, has never been just a show of drawings for children, but it has presented itself as a place for knowledge, culture and beauty, an international observatory on the world of Illustration.
for example, Sàrmede also hosts the international school of illustration, founded by Štěpán Zavřel. courses provide training sessions for various levels: from artistic specialisation for those at advanced level to foundation courses for anyone interested in discovering this world.

if any of you is interested, i'd be glad to welcome and host you for the class period 

27.10.2013 > 19.01.2014
via Marconi, 2 - 31026 Sàrmede TV
monday to friday 9.00-17.00
saturday and sunday 10.00-21.30
{26.12.2013 > 03.01.2014 14.30-19.00}


  1. Replies
    1. ♥. i'm glad to have such an exhibition near home. i love illustration, too.

  2. Sempre bellissima! Sai fino a quando tiene aperta l'esposizione?

    1. ciao michi, grazie di essere passata di qui. date e orari sono in fondo al post, la mostra chiuderà il 19 gennaio, c'è ancora tempo ;)

  3. I am also very passionate about illustration and especially illustration books for children can be so beautiful and inspiring! Le immagini della fantasia nel Paese dell Fiabe - how wonderful!

    1. so wonderful that we share all these interests :)

  4. Bel come sempre.. evviva la letteratura, soprattutto se è per l' infanzia! <3

    1. grazie silvy! ;)
      (hai visto la nuova nikon df?!)

  5. oh, i love stepan zavrel's work! him and mary blair are a never ending source of colour and inspiration ♥

    i get regular emails inviting me to take part in the courses and it breaks my heart to be so far away :(

    1. i guessed that you already knew zavrel and le immagini della fantasia, being an illustrator yourself.
      i'm glad you like him, toi! i hope you'll manage to attend a class sooner or later. :)

      (by the end of the week a letter is going to be on its way to argentina!!)

  6. wow, ci devo portare caterina :)

    1. ♥ ciao claudia, grazie per essere passata di qui.
      non so se caterina già apprezzi i libri illustrati, ma sicuramente a mamma e papà la mostra piacerebbe!

  7. Qualche anno fa ho fatto il corso di illustrazione per l'infanzia con l'artista Giovanni Manna. La tecnica usata era l'acquerello. Benchè sia stata un'esperienza positiva non ho più avuto l'occasione di ritornare a Sarmede, non ho nemmeno mai visitato la mostra. Che quest'anno sia la volta buona??

    1. ciao marika, speriamo proprio che lo sia! anche a me piacerebbe provare a frequentare uno dei corsi :)


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