Sunday, 23 July 2017

The unremembered past (dream of a black submarine) oil, 25 x 20cm

Another painting for the Small Works group show at Beinart Gallery, Brunswick, July-August. Artists have a size restriction but an open brief. The three works I've produced appear to have war themes, which must be a subconscious channeling of current events. It's also fascinating how war and amnesia seem to go hand in hand, as if one cannot exist without the other.


  1. My maternal Grandfather and Dad never spoke about their war experiences when asked. It might be a male trait.I wonder if women would be more apt to share stories? I think we see this now with all the refugees.

  2. It's changing ! women , children and men are talking more and more about war these days , it's just us who have to change the kind of news media we want to see and listen to . Amnesia on war still exist because of some media are cultivating it ,playing with it. Reality can be more fascinating than art but art is a way among many others that can bring awareness .

  3. Hello Mr. Tan, or anyone who can help me. I'm writing to ask you about your short story The Lost Thing. It was in a very nice paperback book along with perhaps 7 or so other illistrated short stories from various author/illustrators. They were all such surreal almost sad stories. And the artwork from all the stories was all just as strange and beautiful, surreal as I said. The only other story from that book I can remember had something to do with two children in love who used to meet up in a forest or something? I think another story had to do with ghosts and trolly cars? I know this isn't directly related to your post here, nor am I giving you very good information, but are you able to recall what book this might have been a part of?

  4. It sounds like Tales from Outer Suburbia, only more interesting, as I don't recognize these other stories, even though they sound like mine. I often have two unnamed siblings as protagonists, and there's one ghost story there. The lost thing is not part of it though, except for an omnibus of three of my early picture books in the US, it's not been collected in another book.

  5. Your work continues to inspire me Shaun. I grew up in Perth and am also a Balcatta Special Art alumni and now work as a Graphic Designer and sometimes Illustrator in Los Angeles. I am lucky to have had you sign all your books for me at Planet Books in Mt Lawley and they sit treasured along my Graphic Novels and other great books. Thank you for this blog which I come to regularly.

    Have you seen the new Whitely Documentary? I am hoping it comes here soon.

  6. Yes, it's not bad, more about the man than the art though, intended for broad appeal I think (too much so). I recall seeing another many years ago that was far more revealing. Great to see a Balcatta art alumni working in the field, it can be tough to continue that thread from art school to art practice.

    1. Thanks for taking the time to reply. I just watched the Whitely Doco and did enjoy it but as you said it was more about his journey which was fascinating but tragic.A brilliant artist though. I also enjoyed the Art of Australia documentary series released a few years ago.

      I agree about the thread from art school to practice, many fellow students from high school and university do not work in the creative field, it seems those with the passion and determination get there in the end. If you want any art documentary recommendations just let me know!

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