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11 May 2019

Belarusian book printing project presented in Estonia

Belarusian book printing project presented in Estonia

MINSK, 11 May (BelTA) – The art project “500 Years. Art, Book, and Art of Book” dedicated to the 500th anniversary of the Belarusian book printing (celebrated in 2017) has opened in the main gallery of the National Library of Estonia, BelTA learned from the Belarusian Embassy in Estonia.

The project “500 Years. Art, Book, and Art of Book” was first presented by its curator – book publisher Alla Zmiyeva at the Skaryniana exhibition in Minsk. The project showcases works of four Belarusian graphic artists dedicated to the life and work of first Belarusian publisher Francysk Skaryna. Artists Pavel Tatarnikov, Yury Yakovenko, Valentina Shoba, and Vladimir Dovgyalo are multiple holders of prestigious international prizes and are famous from Western Europe to China.

The exhibition features original works, some of which have been used as illustrations to books while others have been created for the project. They tell about Francysk Skaryna and his life’s work – the Bible he printed in the 16th century. The project aims to combine the experience of a project curator and a book publisher in a single concept and show remarkable works of art and book publishing.

The concept unites three aspects: history, art, and publishing. The artists show their vision through their skills and talent. The project stresses the continuity of traditions of Belarusian book publishing with examples of the best printed books which make part of the Belarusian culture.

One of Valentina Shoba’s works is an interpretation of Skaryna’s Bible. It demonstrates the connection between Skaryna’s first published book and contemporary publishing traditions rich in authentic motifs. It was performed in a unique technique using soil from various parts of Belarus. It is titled “Culture Layer”and represents the unity of historic, cultural, and artistic traditions.

Pavel Tatarnikov’s historical reconstructions were used as illustrations to the book “Fatherland: art history. From Rogneda to Kosciuszko”. The exhibition features works dedicated to Francysk Skaryna. Yury Yakovenko’s prints from his Alphabet series were printed in an Italian workshop, which points out the connection with Italy where Francysk Skaryna studied in the University of Padua.

The geography of Skaryna’s life from native Polotsk to Padua, Prague, and Vilnius is illustrated by the works of Vladimir Dovgyalo. He shared his impressions about these cities in four colorful works full of symbols of and allusions to the past.

The National Library of Estonia is also displaying modern Belarusian books. The main item is facsimiles of Francysk Skaryna’s Bible which were created with participation of researchers from the National Library of Belarus.

The project “500 Years. Art, Book, and Art of Book” became the finalist of the nationwide contest to create the curator concept of the Belarusian pavilion at the 57th Venice Biennale and was commended by Belarus’ Culture Ministry.

The Belarusian exhibition will be on display in the National Library of Estonia till 31 May.

The project “500 Years. Art, Book, and Art of Book” has been launched in cooperation with the National Library of Belarus, the Belarusian Embassy in Estonia with support of the Estonian Embassy in Minsk.

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