Thursday 24 October 2013

Tales from Outer Suburbia in Mandurah

After a whirlwind premiere season at Fremantle's Spare Parts Puppet Theatre, Tales From Outer Suburbia will be heading to the Mandurah Performing Arts Centre for an encore season in November (see earlier post for more about this stage production). Performances will run on Tuesday 5 November at 6pm and Wednesday 6 November at 10am & 1pm; suitable for all ages and perfect for ages 5 - 12. To book tickets visit the Mandurah Performing Arts Centre

Wednesday 23 October 2013

RULES OF SUMMER App goes live (Australia)

 The Rules of Summer app, developed concurrently with the publication of the picture book of the same title, is launched today and will be available for Australian readers, with other territories to follow as the book is subsequently published overseas. What kind of app is this, and how is it different from the book? Both are adaptations of a series of large, unscripted paintings that form a visual narrative about two boys, but each form represents quite different reading experience. While I think there will never be a substitute for the charm and appeal of a physical picture book (especially a large format one like Rules of Summer), the app offers an extra depth of detail as users are able to zoom in and out of a canvas, courtesy of high-resolution photography and clever image compression and design by the Melbourne-based studio behind the app, Wheelbarrow. I also worked closely with an experimental sound artist and composer from New York, Sxip Shirey, whose surrealist soundtrack perfectly suits the intimate browsing of these mysterious pictures. The executive producer on the project, Sophie Byrne, was also the producer behind The Lost Thing; Tim Kentley of XYZ Studios (of which Wheelbarrow is a part) is the artistic director.

The app also includes a  sketch mode where you can see some of my concept and developmental drawings, which may be of particular interest to anyone with an interest in illustration (I'm a big fan of these kinds of features myself).

For more info, reviews and appstore link, go here.

Thursday 10 October 2013

RULES OF SUMMER out and about in Australia

Never be late for a parade.

My latest picture book Rules of Summer is now in bookstores. To find out more about it, visit my wesbite or

Pictura - colouring in for everyone!

The March of Industry, a detail from Metropolis

UK publisher Templar is launching a series of colouring-in books for all ages this October under the collective title Pictura. Each book, created by a different illustrator, folds out as a single long black & white panorama that can be collected as they are or coloured in at whim. My own contribution is 'Metropolis', about the rise and fall of city over eight connected episodes. Find out more about Pictura here, and watch the launch on Vimeo

Thursday 3 October 2013

Tales from Outer Suburbia: Spare Parts Puppet Theatre, Fremantle WA, September 28 to October 12

A lost deep sea diver with an undelivered gift - photo by Jessica Wyld courtesy of Spare Parts

Spare Parts is an established theatre in Fremantle, Western Australia, with whom I've had a long association having collaborated on the street theatre project Aquasapiens in 2005 and a more recent adaptation of The Arrival which was very successful. Tales from Outer Suburbia is another book adaptation, with the particular challenge of creating an flowing narrative based on my very fragmentary reflections on childhood in suburban Perth (and appropriate that the performance venue is not far from where I was born). Directed by Philip Mitchell, designed by Sohan Ariel Hayes and adapted by writer Michael Barlow, Tales from Outer Suburbia is presented as "a lively and imaginative mix of real-time animation, projection, miniature marionettes, gigantic rod puppets and playful performers; suitable for all ages, but perfect for ages 5 -12yrs"

For more information and bookings, visit Spare Parts, and you can also read reviews from ArtsHub, The West and The Australian.

Wednesday 2 October 2013

GRIMM TALES by Philip Pullman (Germany)

'Cat and Mouse' paper, clay, paint, 20cm tall

One of my most recent projects has been the creation of 50 small sculptures to illustrate a selection of Grimm's fairy tales re-written by Philip Pullman, the well-known British author of the His Dark Materials trilogy.  Published this month by Aladin Verlag, Grimms Märchen is only available as a German language edition for the moment (the original English language editions of Grimm Tales by Philip Pullman remain unillustrated). You can find out a little more about this project on my website.