Fairy Tales



ISBN: 9781925922158 Category:


Fairy Tales celebrates art and film that explores this evolving narrative form and the fascination it has commanded for centuries.

Drawing on popular themes of magic, enchantment and transformation, the paintings, drawings, sculptures, installations, film clips, props and costumes draw not only on well-known narratives – such as ‘Little Red Riding Hood’, ‘Sleeping Beauty’, ‘Snow White’ and ‘Hansel and Gretel’ – but also lesser-known stories to examine anxieties around power imbalances, injustice and fighting adversity.

Stunning works by international artists and filmmakers including Yayoi Kusama, Kiki Smith, Tracey Moffatt, Ron Mueck, Jim Henson and Maurice Sendak, among many others, demonstrate the ways fairy tale motifs and metaphors continue to upend established ideas and confront real-world challenges; illustrating how, in publication contributor Jack Zipes’s words, ‘fairy tales have a meaningful social function in revealing the gaps between truth and falsehood in our society’.

This sumptuous hardback book produced to accompany QAGOMA’s blockbuster summer exhibition of the same name interprets fairy tale tropes within contemporary artistic and sociopolitical discourses, with scholarly contributions from exhibition curator Amanda Slack-Smith, Curatorial Manager, Australian Cinémathèque, as well as eminent fairy tale experts Pauline Greenhill, Marina Warner and Jack Zipes. Australian novelist and screenwriter Holly Ringland also contributes a new short story in response to the exhibition’s themes.

Fairy Tales features full-colour illustrations of all artworks in the exhibition, as well as a complete ‘Fairy Tales’ film program listing.

Additional information

Weight 1248 g
Dimensions 24.9 x 24.8 cm
Publisher name Queensland Art Gallery
Publication date 2 December 2023
Number of pages 208
Format Hardback
Contributors Contributions by Holly Ringland, Marina Warner, and Jack Zipes
Dimensions 24.9 x 24.8 cm
Weight 1248 g


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Amanda Slack-Smith is Curatorial Manager, Australian Cinémathèque, and curator of 'Fairy Tales'.

Dr Sophie Hopmeier is Assistant Curator, Australian Cinémathèque.

Dr Pauline Greenhill is Professor of Women's and Gender Studies at the University of Winnipeg, Canada. Her many publications on fairy tales include Reality, Magic, and Other Lies: Fairy-Tale Film Truths (2020), Clever Maids, Fearless Jacks, and a Cat: Fairy Tales from a Living Oral Tradition (2019) and Fairy-Tale Films Beyond Disney: International Perspectives (2015).

Holly Ringland is a Queensland writer, storyteller and television presenter. Her award-winning debut novel, The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart (2018), was adapted by Amazon Prime as a seven-part series and streamed in 2023. Her latest novel is The Seven Skins of Esther Wilding (2022).

Professor Dame Marina Warner DBE, CBE, FBA, FRSL is Professor of English and Creative Writing, Birkbeck College, University of London, and a renowned novelist, short-story writer, historian and mythographer. She is known for her many non-fiction books relating to feminism, myth and fairy tales, including From the Beast to the Blonde: On Fairy Tales and Their Tellers (1994), Stranger Magic: Charmed States and the Arabian Nights (2011) and Once Upon a Time: A Short History of Fairy Tale (2014).

Professor Jack Zipes, former Director of the Center for German and European Studies at the University of Minnesota, is well known for his scholarship on how fairy tales evolved and their social and political significance. His many acclaimed publications include Grimm Legacies: The Magic Spell of the Grimms' Folk and Fairy Tales (2014), Why Fairy Tales Stick: The Evolution and Relevance of a Genre (2006) and Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales, Children, and the Culture Industry (1997).