Searching in the wood

The thematic section of the Exhibition The Images of Fantasy 38 is dedicated to the forest: a place of allegory par excellence, the protagonist of classical and contemporary literature, of visual production, of popular and mythological tradition.

Space of discovery and initiation, but also of loss and darkness, its crossing always implies a transformation.

The passage through the wood reveals itself as a life experience and finds perfect fulfillment in the dark Dante’s forest, as an indispensable moment towards knowledge. Hence the ritual and symbolic variants of literature and art interpreted by the characters engaged in facing the wonderful journey.

“Literature and illustrations build an allegory of knowledge: we are fragile and small creatures linked to the state of reason and instinct which – explains the curator Gabriel Pacheco in the text in the catalog – at a certain point in life, manifest the need to forest, that is, to turn towards knowledge”. *

* Gabriel Pacheco, “Buscare nel bosco”, in “The Images of Fantasy 38”, catalog of the International Exhibition of Illustration for Children, Tapirulan Editions, 2020


Illustration by Matthew Forsythe, from the book Pokko and the Drum, published by Simon & Schuster (detail).

The exhibition presents a set of different forests but united by the idea of ​​the forest as a space of passage, learning and transformation: from legends to fairy tales, from the classics of past centuries to new poetic and philosophical approaches. Juliette Binet, Anthony Browne, Gerda Dendooven, Matthew Forsythe, Olaf Hajek, Violeta Lópiz and Valerio Vidali, Giovanni Manna, Giovanna Ranaldi: nine artists who face in their art some of the fundamental moments of existence through the encounter with the forest: the fear, change, refuge, nourishment, letting the wooded charm of knocking in the woods emerge.

Stories told with words and images allow us to experience the character of individuality in the face of the vastness of the forest.