The exhibition From Illustration to Book, a collaboration between Arts Council Malta and the NBC, will take centre stage together with the exhibitors’ stands and explores the evolution of illustration in Malta from the interwar period to the present. It will showcase contemporary book illustrations and designs; selected works from the Malta Illustration Annual 2022 published by the Malta Community of Illustrators; earlier designs by Maltese personalities Trevor Żahra, Mario Azzopardi and Joe Sacco; illustrations of characters that marked the childhood of most Maltese children, namely Kunċett u Marinton, Fra Mudest, Il-Qtates tamax-xatt (Merlin Publishers), and Ir-Ronnie; and a special selection of books designed and illustrated by Malta’s leading twentieth century artists.

The exhibition is split into five sections. ‘Looking Back’ pays homage to historical examples of illustration by some of Malta’s pioneering twentieth-century artists. ‘Maltese Illustrated Characters’ focuses on classic and contemporary characters which have left an indelible mark on our literary imagination.’ Illustration Today’ and the ‘MCOI Illustration Annual 2022 Exhibit’ section highlight some of the finest work by contemporary illustrators and book designers active today. Finally, the ‘Artist Spotlight’ areas devote special attention to three prolific illustrators: Mario Azzopardi, Joe Sacco and Trevor Żahra.

The exhibition will be open everyday over the five days of the Festival between 23-27 November at the following opening hours: on Wednesday and Thursday from 9am-1pm and 5:30pm-9pm; on Friday from 9am-1pm and 5:30pm-10pm; on Saturday from 9:30am-10pm, and on Sunday from 9:30am-8pm.