Open Hearts, Open Borders
From all over the world, picture book illustrators sent original images and personal messages, in postcard form, for Migrations, an exhibition at the Biennial of Illustration, Bratislava, in 2017, curated by the University of Worcester's International Centre for the Picture Book in Society. Over fifty of the cards are reproduced in this very special book.
The book is divided into themes of Departures, Long Journeys, Arrivals and Hope for the Future.
The facsimile postcard text includes personal messages of hope from the illustrators, as well as quotes from writers including Emily Dickinson, WB Yeats, John Clare, and Anita Desai. Robert Macfarlane has written a poem specially for the postcard drawn by Jackie Morris.
Illustrators include Christopher Corr, Marie-Louise Gay, Piet Grobler, Petr Horacek, Isol, Jon Klassen, Neal Layton, PJ Lynch, Roger Mello, Jackie Morris, Jane Ray, Chris Riddell, Axel Scheffler and Shaun Tan. In total, illustrators from 28 countries have contributed.
Migrations carries a powerful message about human migration, showing how cultures, ideas and aspirations flow despite borders, barriers and bans.
As the world refugee crisis intensified, back in 2017 two teachers of Illustration at Worcester University had the idea of contacting illustrator friends around the world, asking them to draw and send an original postcard on the theme of Migration, to form an installation at the Biennale of Illustration at Bratislava, Slovakia.
The response astonished them, with hundreds of cards and personal messages, forming a visually stunning show. The installation has since been mounted in South Korea and will be displayed at further places around the world, including Amnesty International's London offices in the summer of 2019.
Over fifty of the postcards, mailed from 32 countries, are reproduced in actual size in this very special book, to be published on 9 May 2019. All the works have been donated and the book's royalties will be shared between Amnesty International and IBBY (International Board on Books for Youth).
Leading children's book illustrators from the UK, including Christopher Corr, Neal Layton, Jackie Morris, Jane Ray and Chris Riddell, have contributed cards, along with illustrators from Argentina to Russia, South Africa to Iran. Australian illustrator Shaun Tan has written the Introduction.
Janetta Otter-Barry, publisher of Otter-Barry Books, says: "It's an honour to be chosen as publishers of this book. The fragility of a mailed postcard and of a migrating bird come together so aptly to capture the theme of human migration. It is quite literally formed of images and messages of hope, and I think that people will cherish it for that reason as well as for its brilliant variety and heartfelt approach."
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