HARD to believe it may be, but it is now 150 years since Alice first ventured down the rabbit hole and embarked on her wonderland adventures.
A new exhibition of work by surrealist artist Peter Smith, with his wife Jayne, at Castle Fine Art on Multrees Walk, is set to celebrate that landmark from Sunday.
Lost Alice, inspired by Lewis Carroll’s famous children’s novel Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and its sequel, Through the Looking-Glass, is a series of six new oil paintings and four sculptures featuring familiar characters including Alice, the Hatter, the Caterpillar and the White Rabbit.
Yet Smith’s Wonderland is also unfamiliar - a place that is now under threat from Alice’s last visit when she left behind seven sins from the mortal world. The collection, which tells its own story of Alice’s adventures, has taken the artist nine months, 36kg of clay, 36 maquettes and more than 5000 individually made objects to create.
To accompany the new works Smith is also writing a novel called Lost Alice – Wonderland Unwound and will be at the gallery in person on Sunday, before 1-4pm to reveal his new works.
Smith says, We couldn’t ignore the fact that Alice in Wonderland celebrates its 150th birthday this year...be prepared to view a different kind of Wonderland; a Wonderland twisted and crafted around classic literature mixed with fairy tales through the eyes of a very different Alice.”
Adele Cross, gallery manager for Castle Fine Art, adds, “Peter’s new collection invites the viewer into a wondrous world of surrealism and symbolism. Fans of the work can take pleasure in this collection on two levels; the expertly painted compositions – which Peter painstakingly built in clay before painting – and the story behind them.
“This year, Castle Fine Art celebrates 20 years in the business and a decade of working with Peter, who remains one of our top selling artists across our portfolio nationwide.”
Peter Smith’s Lost Alice Collection, Castle Fine Art, Multrees Walk, from Sunday