Usually an event or a prize can become international in time. In our case it immediately characterized itself as an International Price.
In fact we were interested in the world of magic: myths, fables and legends of all the various geographical, historical and cultural realities and in the different variables developed in every corner of the earth.
Il Bosco Stregato” (The Enchanted wood) is another dimension: a dip into the memory of stories, fables and tales popular tradition everywhere has dedicated to an imaginary word, and that often happen to be identical in different parts of the globe. Stories that we want to bring together with Ex Libris on a never-ending journey.
Why is “Solstizio d’Estate” (Summer Solstice) dedicated to myths, legends and magic?
Quite simply because we cannot afford to miss an extraordinary opportunity to open a window on the innermost thoughts of mankind. Myths, legends are, indeed, a universal human creation, devised – in different eras and places – as explanations for the problems that man has had to contend with, and that transcend our ability to understand: the end of life, misfortune, success, cruelty, love that at times reaches beyond life, and hope for a better word.
With the birth of philosophy and – more recently – scientific thought, the mythological approach to reality has lost value. The wealth of myths and legends that exist suggests that their most secret source lies within the human psyche. There are not unambiguous statements. A personal unconscious and a collective unconscious coexist in every man, with the former being composed of the knowledge each one of us gains from experience, while the latter is the depositary of the inheritance of all mankind.
So if the basic needs are the same, at times myths, legends and fables are themselves very similar, because they all have to provide a response to a single issue: the complexity of life.
The number of the works was considerable, though somewhat lacking compared to the past in distinguished foreign entries. invitations reached Italy, Russia, Turkey and France, Belarus and Lithuania, and China, Argentina and Japan, and the response was significant, though not always in accordance with the regulations of the competition.
This is why significant works had to be excluded, irrespective of their appeal and content. Ex Libris experts, who know all the artists who are active in every part of the word, will find various prestigious names here, but they will also have the surprise of seeing the work of engravers (and schools) who are (at last) approaching the world of Ex Libris for the first time. Everyone else, who knows little or nothing about Ex Libris and the art of engraving, will (we are sure) appreciate the creativity and variety of so many works inspired by fairy tales and myths, legends and dreams, collective or private as they may be.
The work of the jury was not easy, setting out as it did to give priority to all the works which complied with the regulations.
We must end with a well-deserved thank you to all the artists who have chosen to take part in this adventure, in the hope of being able to count on their precious co-operation again for the next competition “Odysseus, journey into Myth” with an invitation to all to participate.
Lina e Tommaso Lo Russo
Maria Rosanna Cafolla