Sunday, August 9, 2009

Post2 – Shaun Tan – Australian Illustrator and award winning author

Bulb & Wingnut

Illustrations are for Shaun the main 'texts' in his books. It is a powerful way of expressing of feeling as well as ideas, partly because it is outside of verbal language, emotions can be hard to articulate in words. Words have a remarkable magnetic pull on our attention, and how we interpret images: in their absence, an image can often have more conceptual space around it, and invite a more lingering attention from a reader who might otherwise reach for the nearest convenient caption, and let that rule their imagination

Shaun Tan’s Illustrative books at least at first, seem like dark children’s fantasy, but are often aimed at both younger and older readers and are recognised as ‘highly imaginative’, ‘strikingly and original ’What is original is not the ideas themselves, not an illustration of the text, but something to react with it symbiotically.

The Arrival

The Arrival, a book which deals with the theme of migrant experience is a wordless graphic novel. The absence of any written description also plants the reader firmly in the shoes of an immigrant character. There is no guidance as to how the images might be interpreted, and the reader must search for meaning and seek familiarity in a world where such things are either scarce or concealed.

The Red Tree, which deal with subjects such as whimsy, depression and loneliness,

The Lost Thing has to do with a fable about the problems of adulthood, and the tension between dreams and reality.. The Lost Thing is currently being adapted as an animated short film.

The Red Tree The Lost Thing

The Rabbits, written by John Marsden, It was named Picture Book of the Year by the Children’s Book Council,, and perhaps his most widely circulated and discussed book.

It’s a story we should all be familiar with as an historical narrative, the European invasion of Australia and injustices perpetrated against the indigenous population. More universally, it’s the story of colonisation everywhere, about power, ignorance and environmental destruction.

The Rabbits

Tan’s books have been translated into multiple languages and have received book awards in several countries. Tan is also involved in other interesting projects, including murals, theatre productions and a children’s “Art Trail

painting by Jeffery Smart The Lost Thing

There are hundreds of artist in the field of the” arts” that influences Shaun but I’ve noticed in particular in The Lost Thing, his parodies of famous paintings by artist like Edward Hopper and Jeffery Smart.

Thing- Parents


  1. I love this guy, very talented.

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