brlozky-1667911998 | Danubiana}

Little Lairs

15. November 2022 - 12. February 2023

Mária Nerádová’s artistic beginnings were not easy. Coming from a family of entrepreneurs and managers, her family did not encourage her interest in fine art and disapproved of her intention to attend a secondary art school. As a result, she studied at a gymnasium, and when she decided to attend Tomas Bata University in Zlín, she had to work hard to keep up with her better prepared classmates in the Czech Republic. However, her inclination toward illustration was obvious during her studies of graphic design and so she naturally continued in this vein at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava under prof. Kállay. And as she herself says, she does not like to alternate techniques. Perhaps this is also why her unique style is instantly recognizable. In the process of creation, she remains faithful to the use of pencil and paper before scanning her drawings into the digital space for the application of color and texture. Even after years of work, she remains faithful to illustrations for younger children. Several of her picture books with elaborate illustrations show her unique creativity and sense of fantasy. The current exhibition dedicated to her colorful book entitled Brlôžky (Little Lairs), which was created during the 2020 pandemic, is also evidence of that. It is an instructive tale about the journey of a young goat and features large illustrations and objects. This attractive picture book for children as well as their parents is about the discreet and mysterious little lairs that hide surprising secrets. Forests and gardens are full of them and its usually quite merry there. A head of cabbage, a large orange pumpkin, a snail shell, an anthill and a tree – a life full of small joys, but also worries hides in each of them. The inspiration for this book came from the artist’s own childhood and fascination by cross-section illustrations. It is embellished by an unbelievable number of details that readers can gaze at for hours. Brlôžky is also a colorful story about all of us.


Mária Nerádová (1988) studied illustration at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava and graphic design at the Tomas Bata University in Zlín, Czech Republic. She then concentrated on creating illustrations for children’s books. She has cooperated with such publishing houses as Ladybird Penguin, Usborne Publishing, Mondadori, Glottogon, Albatros, Mladé letá, Ikar, Buvik, which published books with her illustrations. Her student’s work entitled Slovensko-český obrázkový slovník zákerných slov pre deti (The Slovak-Czech Dictionary of Tricky Words for Children) won an award in the Najkrajšie knihy Slovenska 2010 (The Most beautiful Books of Slovakia 2010) competition, and was later published as the book Jak velbloud potkal ťavu (How a Camel [in Czech] Met a Camel [in Slovak]) which won the award for the Najkrajšia kniha Slovenska 2014 (The Most Beautiful Book of Slovakia 2014); it was also included in the selection of the best Czech books for children and youth. In 2018 she published a big picture book for children entitled Poďme objavovať Slovensko (Let’s Explore Slovakia) which was followed by Pojďme objevovat Česko (Let’s Explore Czechia, 2020) and Poďme objavovať zimné Slovensko (Let’s Explore Winter Slovakia, 2021).