Visualizing textual narrative : Illustration Workshop And Exhibition At Goethe-Institute
For most children, the first step into the fantastic, and at times enigmatic world of literature is through the pictures each book carries. Children's books, which are mostly a combination of visual and textual narratives, offer valuable experience for children and adults alike, and that the Dhaka Goethe-Institut played host to a workshop as well as an exhibition on the subject provided an opportunity for enthusiasts to witness how the contemporary practices has been effectively revitalizing this genre.
In Germany, Children's book illustration is known for its diversity, one of the features that have contributed to its growing success and recognition on an international scale. The exhibition 'Contemporary Picture Book Illustration in Germany' offered an intriguing insight into the works of thirteen well-known German illustrators who, from their individual perspectives, skillfully provided visual solutions that complemented the textual contents of the given works.
The touring exhibition of watercolour, collage and digital work came to Dhaka after running its course through India, where they had been on display in Kolkata and Bangalore. In Dhaka, the exhibition was mounted from April 19 to May 9, 2011, at the auditorium of the institute. Curated by Maria Linsmann Dedge, Children Books Museum Troisdorf and Barbara Honrath, Goethe-Institut Munich, the show occasioned other important complementary projects.
Concurrent to the exhibition, a workshop entitled 'The World in Four Colours' was conducted by Artist Julia Kaergel, born in 1965, Hamburg, Germany. It was an occasion for the artist to attempt to align her German experience with that of the Bangladeshi beginners.
Kaergel, along with twelve Bangladeshi illustrators, worked for eight days to arrive at innovative ways to adorn children's book. The outcome of their efforts was later showcased in an exhibition which provided an overview on the current trends and new developments of contemporary children book illustration in Germany and Bangladesh.
After studying book design and illustration, Kaergel started working as a freelance artist. Her main occupation is illustrating children's books and painting book covers, though she occasionally works on cartoon animation and large woodcuts. Kaergel has already showcased her works internationally and has organized several workshops for the Goethe-Institut in various countries.