2023 edition: a review

The first and only l’Œil du monde in Nantes came to a close on 23 April. Over a four-week period, more than 11,000 people came to Le Lieu Unique to discover an original exhibition, a reading space, a workshop and an exhibition space designed for visitors, especially children, a space of freedom dreamt up by l’Œil du monde association and designed by Claudie Robet, which came to life over the course of a month. A place where, as we were told, “there’s always something to do”.

looking at & exhibiting
70 original illustrations were displayed alongside children’s books produced in the run-up to the festival, thanks to a partnership between 40 libraries in the Pays de la Loire region and 12 independent publishing houses. As the days went by, the exhibition was enriched with productions from the workshops, giving everyone the chance to show off their work to others. 60 guided tours of the exhibition adapted to different audiences will have enabled schoolchildren, families and even toddlers to discover the exhibition in a playful way.

With 134 workshops, it’s fair to say that the festival has given pride of place to “making”.
43 artists gave children – and older children – the chance to create using a variety of techniques. Silkscreen printing, etching, typography, drawing, painting, inks, paper cut-outs, stamps, normographs, stencils, embroidery, bookmaking… so many techniques to experiment with and so many ways to express yourself. These workshops, attended by almost 2,000 people, gave us the chance to witness some wonderful moments of transmission, joy and sharing, and the satisfaction of seeing the printed image emerge, and then exhibiting or leaving with one’s “Toto head” in letterpress or one’s screen-printed fanzine.

reading and listening
A place for exhibitions, workshops and reading! Books were everywhere, in the bookshop run by Les enfants terribles, on the tables, next to the deckchairs, and even on the cushions printed for the occasion with illustrations from the albums of the guest publishers. The place for stories welcomed readers, adults and children alike, sometimes seated, but often lying down for solitary or shared readings. Books for the ears too, in individual or group sound booths to listen to in the original language or translated into French.

17 classes, or more than 500 pupils from nursery to primary school, 9 leisure centres and 10 specific groups came to the festival to discover the exhibition and take part in workshops.

In the run-up to the festival, 336 cultural events have been organised in libraries between 2022 and 2023. Exhibitions, workshops, readings, shows, lectures, screenings and meetings reached nearly 15,000 children.