Irish painter Paddy Donnelly displays work on Zen in Sommer (Showbiz and Culture)

“How did I end up in Hasselt? Guess twice: by love. In a pub in Belfast I met a nice girl from Herk-de-Stad, who was taking the Erasmus exchange. Look, thirteen years later we’re still together,” says Paddy Donnelly in Dutch excellent. Until his arrival in Belgium, he lived in Bally Castle, Northern Ireland, an hour’s drive from Belfast. benefit from Good Friday Agreement (1998) for Irish citizenship.

Three or four times a year we visit my family in Northern Ireland, but I’ve found my place here. I’m a web designer by training and have worked at Genk Nascom for three years. I have been self-employed since 2012.”

© Paddy Donnelly

But why this passion for clarification? “As a kid I loved drawing, but from the age of twelve that interest disappeared. I only picked up thread again ten years ago. As a web designer I’ve never felt like I’m making something with a long shelf life. A website only lasts a few years. That gave me an idea To illustrate children’s books.”

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Extinct animals

Paddy Donnelly’s books are full of fiction. Extinct animals often take center stage. Woolly mammoth, dodo, quagga, Tasmanian tiger … “When I was a child I was very sad because I did not see a dinosaur in real life. I began to draw it – with the delay. (Laugh) The nature of Northern Ireland is also an inspiration.”

© Paddy Donnelly

“in The lake that disappears Lake Logarima is constantly emptying. Mira, a 10-year-old girl, asks her grandfather why this is so. It tells a mysterious story every time. A mermaid pulls a plug out of a lake or a giant uses frozen water as an ice cube, for example. Mira does not believe her grandfather until he takes her to the top of a mountain by the lake. My motivation for making up such stories? Stimulating imagination in children. A potential treatment for acidification”.

The lake that disappearsPaddy Donnelly’s first book as an author and illustrator, it has been published in five languages ​​and has won awards several times. It has been longlisted for World Illustration Awards 2022. In addition, when presenting Independent Publisher Book Awards 2021 in category picture books a gold medal. It was also included in the annual list Best Children’s Books in China 2020.

© Paddy Donnelly

Paddy Donnelly has only been working as an illustrator for five years, but he already has fourteen picture books to his credit. He also wrote lyrics for two of them. One of them has been translated into Dutch. It will be released in September Fox & Sun Tailors, the third book in which Paddy Donnelly also wrote the lyrics. It takes place in a world where animals have no tail. “But they can make one in Fox and his son. This gives the tail an allure fashion case. In a picture book, the painter sets the rules, even in terms of language. The name tailor It does not exist in English. That would tailor It should be, but I loved playing around with it for a while.”

© Paddy Donnelly

Three tips for Fancy Summer

In addition to Paddy Donnelly, you can enjoy twelve more demos this month at Hasselt and Genk. We picked three tops you shouldn’t miss.

1. Merry Chaos and Human Folly by Les Luce

Lisse Loos graduated as an illustrator from PXL-MAD art school and teaches at the North Limburg Academy of Art. She is no stranger to Het Belang van Limburg. Two years ago, the 27-year-old Beltsey won the Wanatoe Audience Award and the City of Hasselt Award. There is now a window gallery of hers in the form of a colorful double play with two large pictured panels. Delightful chaos and human folly are recurring themes in her work.

La Bottega, Ramstraat 17 in Hasselt

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2. The Bear and the Penguin starred in the Peter Giudicebus Window Gallery

Peter Giudicebus studied free graphics, graphic design and photography in Ghent. It works mainly digitally. In recent years, his illustrations have evolved from crowded portraits to sober and well dosed ones. with his last book sea ​​of ​​love He received the Boon Literature Prize, the Jury Prize for Children’s Literature and the Audience Award. During his window exhibition, you’ll meet the bear and penguin duo from the winning book.

Onze-Lieve-Vrouwestraat 8 in Hasselt

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3. Kitty Crowther in the old prison

The Old Prison in Hasslet is home to an exhibition of one of the country’s best painters: Kitty Crowther. Daughter of a Swedish mother and British father and raised in Belgium: this background from three cultures makes her work special. She has already published forty picture books in more than twenty languages. In 2010 she won the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Prize, the most important award for children’s literature.

Old Prison (UHasselt), Martelarenlaan 42 in Hasselt

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