Sunday, September 11, 2011
magical night: Review of Shaun Tan’s Arrival
Just back from a magical night at Her Majesty’s Theatre, experiencing Shaun Tan’s The Arrival, put to music by composer Ben Walsh. A visual and auditory experience that over 1 hour 15 minute, engaged The Arrival, which is a wordless graphic novel of immigration, 128 pages that explore the displacement and unexpected grace of being in a new country.
I came away stunned by the ability to connect and story tell, without words. One hour and 15 with NO words.
I came away reminded of the importance of being invited to pause, forced to take the time to dwell, and in so doing to discover meaning.
I came away struck by the potential for all-age worship, kids aside, in front and behind, all transfixed.
Why can’t church be a wordless, intergenerational invitation to pause and ponder?
I came away reminded anew of the enormous courage required to migrate and the reliance of the generosity and time of the host culture. (No Taylor’s cried that I am aware of!) Tan’s father is a migrant from Asia. Now here in Australia we delight in Tan’s art and I can’t help wondering how many more Shaun Tan’s might be in the next load of migrants washing up on Australia’s shores.
Shaun Tan is an Australian treasure, a noted illustrators of picture books and young people’s literature. I’ve blogged before about discovering his book, Eric and the theology of hospitality buried in illustrations.