Armin Greder
Guy Lochhead, 02/09/10
Swiss-born Australian illustrator. Greder draws with a dark charcoal style that lends the accompanying text a melancholic mood. He has worked as a graphic designer, and currently lectures tertiary art students. His first authored book was ‘The Island’, in which a foreigner found in the sea is rejected by a cruel race of island people. Greder’s drawing and writing style is harsh and unrelenting. There is no happy ending to his writing, and certainly not to his illustrations. Although the issues addressed in ‘The Island’ should be dealt with, his is not an approach I would take myself. The presentation of immigration, care and belonging is simplistic and unbelievable. I would engage these issues in a dialogue that highlights, acknowledges and counters prejudice, rather than ignoring the greyer areas altogether, as here. It is possible, even in children’s literature. By not addressing these in-between bits, there is more of a chance of them being thought of as novel, which can become very dangerous (that’s actually sort-of why I have this blog).

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