Domestic Selvas

The selva is an expanse of trees and shrubs growing naturally across a broad area of land. Comparable to a wood or forest, the selva has both a literal meaning, a natural territory where plants grow spontaneously, and a metaphorical sense linked to the idea of a complex multitude of highly diverse things haphazardly piled up, where chaos and a general feeling of confusion reign. The messed-up vision of the selva appeals. The image successfully relates the story of our daily life in these restless and complicated times: from the thoughts that crowd our minds and the numerous contradictory ties we establish in our lives, to the objects we pile up and hoard in our homes and the groups of people who perhaps sometimes unwisely gather outside their own four walls.

The selva is also a good starting point from which to begin exploring the relationship between “wildness” and “domesticity” experienced in connection with our inner nature and that of other living creatures.

The selected illustrated volumes explore daily life, both intimate and domestic, as an exotic domain yet to be discovered. Life lived at “home” mixes with ways of behaving, habits, states of mind, the memories of animals, plants, of situations connected to strongly evocative literary locations. The intimacy of the domestic landscape is contaminated, it expands, transforms into the freedom of living and also rethinks its own nature through a zoocentric or plantcentric view. It calls for traditional anthropological perspectives to be turned upside-down and our relationships with others, the environment and ourselves to be read from a different standpoint.

Marnie Campagnaro, “Selve domestiche“, in “The Images of Fantasy 38”, catalog of the International Exhibition of Illustration for Children, Tapirulan Editions, 2020


Illustration by Einat Tsarfati, from the book I miei vicini, published by Editrice Il Castoro (detail).

The experimental room “Pedagogy and imagination” is a place for reading, reflection, experimentation, and literary and visual education and, at the same time, an integral part of the flow of ideas, people and thoughts generated by the exhibition. Entrusted to the care and creativity of Marnie Campagnaro, Professor of Children’s Literature at the FISPPA Department of the University of Padua, this space is a small literary garden where you can find unusual, bizarre, engaging, sometimes even crazy books.

At the exhibition it will be possible to meet the illustrations by Sebastian Meschenmoser from “Quei dannati sette capretti” published by Orecchio acerbo in 2019; the illustrations by Hervé Pinel from “In punta di piedi” published by Orecchio acerbo in 2019 with text by Christine Schneider; the illustrations by Felicita Sala from “Il posto segreto” published by Lupoguido in 2019 with text by Susanna Mattiangeli; the illustrations by Einat Tsarfati from “I miei vicini” published by Il Castoro in 2020; the illustrations by Noemi Vola from “Chiedi a tuo padre” published by Corraini in 2020 with text by Davide Calì.