Monday, March 1, 2010

Bibiana: International Art House for Children

I was completely unaware of the Bibiana when we visited Bratislava. It was only seeing its pamphlet at the airport which led me to it. It says it was the International Art House for Children. Now, anything that says it is for "children" is bound to be fun. And I can also rationalize that I am after all a Children and Youth Studies major so it has research potential. Right? Right.

how can you not want to visit a place with kitties seemingly scared of mice? and such quirky artwork too!

When I found out that the Bibiana was showcasing a Slovakian artist's rendition of Peter Pan, one of my favorite children's classics, it was final that I really had to go! With my first four days already planned out, I was left with Monday and Tuesday for my visit. Unfortunately, it was closed on Monday.

I was already all by my lonesome on Tuesday. Bibiana opens at 10AM so I took it easy going there. By the time I got to the museum I was one of the first customers. Buena mano! To my wonderful surprise, tickets for adults only cost 70 cents! Tickets for children cost 35 cents. I already had good vibes about this place. I can already imagine the fun families can have in the place without seeing it. The fact that it is affordable opens its doors to more children. I love that thought.

After I got my ticket, my first stop was the room which contained illustrations by children's book artists. And there it was. Peter Pan.
I felt like such an idiot not getting the name of the artist who drew Peter Pan because it was really awesome. How can children not enjoy reading a book with artwork like this in between its covers!

I wanted to kick myself in the head for not bringing my camera. The museum actually allowed photos to be taken and it would have been great to just show people the beautiful Slovakian artists render children's illustrations. Most of the drawings were of Slovakian fairy tales. I did find artwork on the well-known children's classic Gulliver's Travels. He did a great job on the Lilliputans.

I could have stayed much longer in the room. But I saw a glimpse of the Baron Munchausen exhibition which I couldn't wait to see. Though I hardly remember the scenes of the Baron Munchausen movie, I remember enjoying the Terry Gilliam classic. The room was fantastical as I felt with the movie (I am now inspired to look for the book!). Chairs nailed to the wall. Birds hanging from the ceiling that you can play with. Black light to make every thing look more amazing that it already is. There was even a make-shift catapult which you can aim rubber balls at the soldiers painted on the wall. Fun!

You can grab those birds hanging in the hair and make them flap. And see the scorpion and seahorse painted on the wall? They light up with black light. And you can set foot on the boat. Love!

I felt like I was in a movie set. Such amazing production design! Plus it was interactive. I forgot what the driving the bike can do but from how the picture looks it seems to play the radio. The umbrella room was one of my favorites. I spent a lot of time inside. Riding the bike, looking at the constellation glimmering under the black light. I made the ducks fly too. I also stared at everything for a long time. I was so mesmerized.

It's like entering a different universe without needing to be an alien.

There were a lot more of rooms to visit in the Bibiana. One room contained wooden art. Another room was an architectural playground where children can construct buildings from wooden blocks or even the computer! There was also another room with small sofa sets where children can just hang out and read books that were placed all over the place.


No doubt Bibiana has brought so much joy to many children that have visited its halls. If you are a child, a child at heart or have a child hiding in you and you come by Bratislava, don't fail to step into the amazing universe of Bibiana. :)

*photos taken from the Bibiana website.





2 comments:

dustysneakers said...

love love love!
I unfortunately didn't go and my impression of Bratislava is somewhat bleak, so I'm glad you wrote this piece for me to refer to for those wanting to get a brighter picture of Bratislava.

Smooch!

dustysneakers said...

love love love!
I unfortunately didn't go and my impression of Bratislava is somewhat bleak, so I'm glad you wrote this piece for me to refer to for those wanting to get a brighter picture of Bratislava.

Smooch!