“Once upon a time, there was...” – that is how every fairy tale begins. “Once upon a time, there was...” – are the words introducing our exhibition.
Once upon a time, there were two brothers who made fairy tales their lives’ work. Those fairy tales, repeated over the years by hundreds of storytellers, have survived the hard ancient times until the brighter days of the present. But are the modern times actually better? Good and Evil have always been in a constant battle, which will probably continue till the end of the world...
The fairy tales that, against all odds, survived the times of disasters, plague and famine, have been put in writing. They have not been watered down to make them child-friendly or politically correct. The tales were authentic, gloomy and fierce, like the times in which they were created. Forests were dark and dense, witches were evil and malicious, death was waiting at every turn and one could not drop one’s guard even for a moment. Triumphs of Good were hard-won, friendship, love, kindness and gratitude were glittering like priceless treasures, and Evil finally got what it deserved. These are the distinctive features of the Brothers Grimm’s fairy tales that have inspired many artists and won the hearts of readers.
Fairy tales have always been told during the long and dark nights of the winter season in the Nordic countries. One of these countries is Estonia. While the Estonian children’s literature is currently in its prime, artists rarely have the opportunity to illustrate classic fairy tales. However, as nothing can quench the creative needs of artists, there are exhibitions where artistic vision and perception may become materialised. Even if such visions are never actually printed in books.
59 illustrations created by 20 Estonian artists and inspired by the fairy tales the Brothers Grimm – the ones closes to the hearts of the illustrators. The exhibition is highly diversified, as it presents both the works of the youngest generation of illustrators, on the threshold of a brilliant career, and the most experienced ones, who have already made their mark in the Estonian art history. The pieces displayed are multi-layered and give viewer the opportunity to uncover their multiple meanings. Some visitors will satisfy themselves with identifying only the topmost layer of the story, while others may discover the innermost secrets hidden in the fairy tales. One thing is certain – no one will be disappointed, looking in turn at bright and uplifting motifs interspersed with more sombre accents.
THE EXHIBITION IS OPEN daily until 06 January 2019, 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.; tickets: PLN 1.00
The exhibition is a special event as part of the Estonian Week, organised byTheatrum Gedanense Foundation and Gdańsk Shakespeare Theatre.