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‘We need the literature of other countries to expand our
horizons and stimulate our ideas. Without it, we are not only
diminished, we are starved’
(The Times, Magnus Linklater 29/06/05)
Drawing from the City
by Original Tamil text: Salai Selvarn
Age Range: 9-11
`“Take me to the city”, the young girl whispers to the train, as it passes her dusty village’. This stunning autobiographical art book recounts the incredible journey of self-taught urban folk artist Tejubehan; from poverty in Ahmedabad in Western India, through her family’s efforts to improve their lot in a tent city in Mumbai where they belong to a community that wandered the streets, singing devotional songs in return for grain, clothes and some money and, finally into adulthood, when she lived as a singer and artist with her husband Ganesh also a fellow artist.
It’s the art and design that take centre stage in this carefully crafted large-format, silk-screened, hand-printed book. The illustrations comprise of intricate black-and-white line work and patterns of dots. Together with the unadorned text, with its subtle change of colour from page to page, it reveals its roots in the oral tradition of storytelling originally recorded in Tamil and then translated into English.