The Singing Bones
Allen & Unwin
A unique and alluring art book showcasing Shaun Tan’s extraordinary sculptures based on the timeless and compelling fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm.
In this beautifully presented volume, the essence of seventy-five fairy tales by the Brothers Grimm is wonderfully evoked by Shaun Tan’s extraordinary sculptures.
Nameless princes, wicked stepsisters, greedy kings, honourable peasants and ruthless witches, tales of love, betrayal, adventure and magical transformation: all inspiration for this stunning gallery of sculptural works. Introduced by Grimm Tales author Philip Pullman and leading fairy tale scholar Jack Zipes, The Singing Bones breathes new life into some of the world’s most beloved fairy tales.
‘These little figures of clay, with their simplified features, their single attributes, are perfect realisations of the strangeness of the characters they represent.’ – Philip Pullman
What a beautiful collection!
Shaun Tan has captured the essence and emotions of the Grimms’ Fairy Tales with his deceivingly simple yet evocative sculptures. The works are eloquent and are beautifully paired with edited extracts from The Complete Fairy Tales translated, introduced and annotated by Jack Zipes (Vintage Books, 1987); these sculptures and extracts are truly memorable and have succeeded in replacing any childhood images I had of the tales.
So many emotions fill these pages; the sculptures are pared back, raw and often confronting, others are charming and delightful. I particularly loved the sculptures that are paired with these extracts, The Thumbling, The Stolen Pennies and Faithful Johannes. I think Faithful Johannes is my favourite – the emotions etched on Johannes face are sublime and powerful, so little says so much, the other two I selected are just so simple and yet so beautiful! But don’t be confused by my selection of beautiful, evocative sculptures, Tan also captures the essence of evil just as magnificently with brooding haunting images – I choose to ignore these – they are truly fearful.
A beautiful collection that anyone will be proud to have on their bookshelf or coffee table.