THE BIENNIAL of Illustrations Bratislava (BIB), the greatest non-commercial global event of visual art, more specifically illustrations, for children, turns 50 this year.
The idea first appeared in the early 1960s in then-communist Czechoslovakia, and in 1965, the first national Czechoslovak exhibition called Illustrations for Children Bratislava took place which is considered “a zero year” or a predecessor of the BIB. It was the first event to compare illustrations for children and youth in Czechoslovakia and the first exhibition offering a wider comparison of originals of illustrations with their book versions.
In 1967, the first “regular” year of the BIB took place, organised by lawyer Dušan Roll and visual artists – Miroslav Cipár, Albín Brunovský and others. The first year saw 320 illustrators from 25 countries.
In the 48 years of its existence – and 24 actual events – it presented a total of 7,225 illustrators from 109 countries with 57,434 original illustrations and more than 9,000 book titles.
The Biennial of Illustrations Bratislava is the most important event organised by the BIBIANA International House of Art for Children, and is under the patronage of UNESCO and the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY). It takes place every second year, in September and October, in the Slovak capital.
BIB is a show of the illustrations of children from all over the world, but also an international competition, in which an international jury of 6-12 experts, artists, publishers and librarians, selects laureates of 11 prizes: Grand Prix BIB, five Golden Apples Bib and five BIB Plaques. Moreover, an Honorary Mention can be awarded for a special publishing feat. The winners of previous editions have gotten the chance to exhibit their works separately and become members of the international BIB jury.
The 2015 edition will be at least as rich and attractive as the previous ones, offering a selection of works by winners from 2013 and the 2014 H.Ch. Andersen laureates, and the holder of the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Prize, PRAESA from South Africa in the House of Art / Dom umenia in SNP Square. The main BIB exhibition, presenting works of illustrators from 50 countries, including the winners, can be seen between September 4 and October 25, daily between 9:00 and 20:00.
In the BIBIANA headquarters in Panenská Street, exhibitions of BIB co-founders Brunovský and Cipár, as well as that of another Slovak artist, Peter Uchnár. Smaller accompanying exhibition are taking place in the Bulgarian and Polish Culture Institute, in Typo & Ars gallery in the borough of Vajnory, and in the historical building of the Slovak national Theatre in Hviezdoslavovo Square.
There are also a host of other accompanying events (interactive exhibitions, workshops, theatre performances, meetings with illustrators), mainly – but not only – meant for children, so it is advisable to check at the www.bibiana.sk/index.php?id=19&L=2 website.
The absolute winner and Grand Prix BIB laureate is UK’s Laura Carlin; Golden BIB Apples went to Mirocomachoko of Japan, Spaniards Elena Odriozola and Javier Zabala; Swiss Ronald Curchod and Chinese Bingchun Huang. Jury decided on awarding five BIB plaques Annemarie van Haeringen
(The Netherlands); Myung-ae Lee (South Korea); Natalia Salienko (Russia);
Renate Wacker (Germany); and Levi Pinfold (UK). The Honorary Mention for support to development of picture books goes to Palestinian publishing house
Kan Ya Ma Kan; the one for special publishing feat goes to Lebanese Dar Onboz Publishing House and Slovak Artforum – for the book by Monika Kompaníková Deep-sea Fairy—tales, whose illustrator Veronika Klímová got the Bratislava Mayor’s Award; the international children’s jury bestowed its prize on Martijn Van Der Linder of the Netherlands.
8. Sep 2015 at 15:13 | Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská