Sentieri Illustrati. International exhibition of illustrations for children

For the fifth year running, we had the pleasure of collaborating with Centro Iniziative Culturali Pordenone, providing the English translation of the Francesco Tullio Altan. Pimpa e i suoi amici exhibition catalogue, as part of the Sentieri Illustrati series.

What is it about?

Sentieri Illustrati is an exhibition of illustrations for children now in its fourteenth edition. For the past five years, with great enthusiasm, we have provided the translation of the exhibition catalogue in English. Our collaboration started in 2018, for an edition that involved forty-two artists, illustrators who accepted the invitation by Centro Iniziative Culturali Pordenone to come together to celebrate the tenth anniversary of Sentieri Illustrati.

It continued the following year with a selection of illustrators from the Baltic countries, who through their works gave expression to the fascinating main character of so many fairy-tales, the wolf, a highly evocative subject. 2020 hosted a number of Polish artists, creating an exhibition with a strong graphic feel entitled In a spaceship towards abstract worlds curated by art historian Kasia Boratyn, while 2021 was the year dedicated to the work of writer and drawer Luca Novelli and his illustrations featuring the great personalities of science.

In 2022 the exhibition featured a character loved by all children in Italy, Pimpa, the cute polka-dot dog which took the exhibition rooms by storm with Armando and his large group of friends created by Altan’s brilliant pencil strokes. We were delighted to attend the opening ceremony of the exhibition in the presence of the author, who interacted amicably with Pimpa’s little friends present in the room, answering their questions.

What does the project look like?

Each year the catalogue consists of a number of texts: biographies, technical captions, critical essays, interviews with the authors. The catalogues are packed with information and dense in content: topics range from art criticism to philosophy, from art techniques to pedagogics.

How was the translation work organized?

These publications require a translator with a solid cultural background and a good, refined technical terminology. The translation of an art catalogue requires not only knowledge of the subject matter but also good sensitivity and excellent writing skills, which are at the heart of any publishing and dissemination project. More than ever, translators must work side by side with reviewers, exhibition organizers and the authors of the actual texts.

To sum up:

Sentieri Illustrati is an international exhibition that over the years has seen illustrators from Italy but also from many parts of Europe taking part, established names and young talents. The organizers’ choice to translate the catalogue into a vehicular language accessible to an audience extending beyond local borders was essential.

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