Monday, March 15, 2010


Does anyone else remember this...?

I have such strong memories of this book. Particularly the story of the little thumbsucker.

Maybe it's because I sucked my thumb when I was little. Anyway, I drew on this book and the nightmares it inspired for the work I've produced for figment. Below is the little bit of writing I did for the floorsheet in the exhibition.

The Great Tall Tailor always comes,
To little boys that suck their thumbs.
He comes equipped, yes I'm afraid,
With scissors sharp as razor blades.
He'll cut your thumbs clean off and then,
You know, they never grow again.

Heinrich Hoffman

Of all the tales in Hoffmann’s Struwwelpeter, it is The Story of Little Suck-a-Thumb that permeated the nightmares of a young Anna Davern. In the story, The Great Tall Tailor does come. And the boy’s thumbs are snipped off with his razor sharp scissors. The  illustrations in Davern’s childhood copy of the book were graphic and explicit, the young boy’s hands spurt blood from where his thumbs once were. It is this gruesome memory that has inspired the creation of Davern’s range of brooches for Figment. The brooches evoke the unease of the closet door left ajar after lights out, the expanse of darkness underneath the bed and the unexplained footfalls outside the room.

And here's a tiny little sneak peak...


Katherine Bowman said...

oh the poor little thumbsucker! The work looks great xx

Pippa said...

I can't wait to see the work Anna but I can't help feeling bad about your nightmares!

natalia said...

AY! i see what you mean! super creepy!!! love your work anna! x

Micaela Trucco said...

I like it!!!!!!!!!! and all your work!
(Mica from Argentina!)

dell said...

I loved looking at German copies at the markets in Berlin. I have a ridiculous maybe 60's east german version here somewhere.

shula said...

I haven't seen that book since I was seven.

But I remember it like yesterday.