The Singing Bones

Shaun Tan: The Singing Bones

No Vacancy Gallery becomes host to a colourful crop of fairytale characters, created by acclaimed narrative artist and and Oscar winner, Shaun Tan. Known for his surreal and dream-like imagery, the artist has expanded into new territory with his latest works.The exhibition will consist of 70 small sculptures inspired by the classic stories of the Brothers Grimm.

Art Exhibition previously on at No Vacancy Gallery in Melbourne precinct, Victoria, Australia.
From Wednesday 30 September 2015 to Thursday 08 October 2015

Skull Fox image

Published by No Vacancy on Saturday 19 September 2015.
Contact the publisher.

Enter a world of wicked stepsisters, traitorous brothers, cunning foxes and lonely princesses, where tales of love, betrayal, adventure and magical transformation are inspiration for one of Australia’s most admired storytellers.

From classics such as Snow White, and Cinderella, to lesser-known but equally intriguing stories such as Hans my Hedgehog, The Blue Light and Mother Trudy, manifesting a show “strung between the real and unreal, the literal and the absurd,” with princes and princesses, and witches at the fore. It sees Tan’s work evolve into 3D, whilst revisiting his favourite childhood medium – papier-mâché and clay.

The sculptures celebrate the endurance and complexity of the Grimm tales, bringing their vivid imagery to life. Tan took inspiration from trips to Mexico City and British Columbia, and drew on Central American and Inuit folk art traditions to infuse an earthy and magical quality into the pieces. With their whimsical nature, in Tan’s words they “appear as if they’ve emerged from an imaginary archaeological dig… illuminated only briefly in the dark galleries of our collective subconscious. Like the tales themselves, they might brighten in our imagination without surrendering any of their original enigma.”

The exhibition also coincides with the publication of the book The Singing Bones by Allen & Unwin, with a foreward from Phillip Pullam and introduction by renowned Grimm scholar Jack Zipes.


34-40 Jane Bell Lane, QV Building