Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Traditional Fairy Tales in Sculpture

To be published tomorrow Thursday October 1st 2015

Australian Writer and Illustrator  Shaun Tan  The Singing Bones  Allen & Unwin 2015 $39.99hb 185pp  ISBN 978 1 7601 1103 8  Themes: Traditional fairy Tales/ Sculptures

This is a book unlike any other I have seen that relooks at traditional fairy tales.  Artist and writer Shaun Tan, has created the essential essence of around 70 well known (and some not quite so well known) fairy tales in a handsome book of sculptures. Love, betrayal, adventure, magic, wicked stepmothers (of course), lost princesses and scary foxes are shown here in a gallery of pictures that need to be looked at again and again to understand  and enjoy their meaning. This is a project as far away from the Disneyfication of fairy tales as you could get and is a serious and important book for serious art students and students of literature.  Each plate has an accompanying brief description and there is further information at the end. The book contains an essay on the Brothers Grimm by Jack Zipes and a foreword by Philip Pullman. As Philip Pullman points out, not many fairy tales are actually ‘ pretty’ as depicted over the years by people like Arthur Rackham and his contemporaries  - actually many are quite brutal, earthy and bloody - and strange .  Not a general book for primary schools in my opinion but secondary schools and students of art should find it a marvellous resource and a book to treasure.        

Year 9 up/ Age 13 up  - and for adults.


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