Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Reasons We Lie

Speaking of lying, click here for a fascinating interview with psychologist Dorothy Rowe, recorded earlier this year at the Perth Writers' Festival.
The summary reads: "From everyday fibs to grand-scale public deception, renowned psychologist Dorothy Rowe explores the reasons we lie and constructions of truth."
It's an hour long interview but absolutely worthwhile and Dr Rowe is an inspirational woman.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Liar, liar, pants on fire!

Here is Aki's latest blog post about illustrating The Little Lie.
Some of these Billie stories stray so close to home it's almost embarrassing. Yes, I once cut my own hair, yes, I craved to be a teacher's pet, and, yes, I was known to make up the odd story once in a while... My poor parents. I can't tell you how many times they pulled out that old "Boy Who Cries Wolf" story in the hope of curing me of my... tendencies towards an overactive elaboration.
How could they have known that one day this is how I would make a living?
So, what's the biggest fib you've ever told?

Thursday, June 9, 2011

A Week in Shanghai

Well, I had all good intentions of posting lots of photos and updates while I was in Shanghai but of course had forgotten one teensy problem. Blogger, Facebook, Google, Youtube - all no-goes in China, despite the fact that anyone can pay for a computer program to circumnavigate the government's strict censorship laws. It still astonishes me that this country, so modern in so many ways, can still be so archaic when it comes to freedom of speech and access to information. But that's another day's rant... So, here are a few belated updates on my week in Shanghai.

Firstly, I spent three full days at Yew Chung International school, giving talks and running workshops with their primary students who were delightful. Yew Chung is completely bilingual, with all subjects being taught in Chinese and English. All the same, it was lots of fun to get kids drawing - a language that crosses all cultural boundaries.

Thursday morning was the official opening of the Australian Illustrator's exhibition at the Shanghai Children's Museum, where Ann James and Alison Lester were presented with portraits by an enthusiastic group of kindergarten students who had sat impressively still and quiet all throughout the long and formal speeches.

Then the weekend was busy at the Children's museum: Ann Haddon giving tours of the exhibition, Leigh Hobbs running Old Tom drawing classes, Ann James running painting workshops and me running collage workshops with local children and their parents, amazed that I still had enough rusty Chinese to get by.

After long days, evenings were spent wandering along the Bund, sipping cocktails at the Peace Hotel or gorging ourselves at restaurants, and we still managed to squeeze in some shopping whenever we had a free moment. So much so that I could hardly close my suitcase to come home.

I feel extremely lucky to have been a part of this wonderful exhibition and, judging by the enthusiasm of local parents, teachers and publishers, let's hope it paves the way for many more Australian-Chinese cultural exchanges to come.