The Painter, Charles Blackman: Background information when reading The Golden Day

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The Golden Day

by Ursula Dubosarsky

The Golden Day
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  • First Published:
    Aug 2013, 160 pages
    Paperback:
    Apr 2015, 160 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Tamara Smith

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About this Book

Beyond the Book:
The Painter, Charles Blackman

In her author's note in The Golden Day, Ursula Dubosarsky writes that Charles Blackman, an acclaimed Australian modernist painter, was a particularly keen influence on the novel: "[My] greatest debt is to Charles Blackman's many astonishing, lush depictions of schoolgirls – enchanting, disturbing, and endlessly evocative."

One of Blackwell's paintings, Floating Schoolgirl, was especially intriguing to Dubosarsky; it was during a visit to the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra where she first saw the painting, and it became the very first seed for The Golden Day. The painting is haunting and beautiful; it depicts a schoolgirl in a hat and uniform floating above a city, in what looks like the middle of the night.

Blackman's paintings are characterized by dream-like qualities; he most often depicts one lone figure, often a woman or a girl with distorted features, and his surreal figures are often floating or falling. They evoke dreams, memories, and a sense of longing ...

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