Lost in Wonderland, 2005

 

In Brighton there are many secret tunnels, built by the Victorians to preserve privacy and create connections between places seen and unseen. Lewis Carroll spent many years visiting 11 Sussex Square from 1862 – 1885 and the long elegant brick passageway connecting the gardens in the square to the sea have always been rumoured to be the inspiration for the rabbit hole in Alice’s Adventures under Ground – the early, darker prototype of the text which eventually became Alice in Wonderland.


The tunnel needs no Freudian interpretation to reveal its role as passageway between worlds. A female child, at an age old enough to make sense, but young enough to still wonder, enters a new reality via a long tunnel. Shamans, mystics and those who have eluded death to discover other realities, have long accessed these ‘wormholes’ between worlds. Long, dark, damp and seeming to leading nowhere, the tunnel promises a revelatory ending to those who are willing to endure fear and have faith to travel its depths. In Alice’s case, this was Wonderland, and this anarchic technicolour world has received many visual interpretations by artists.

Lost in Wonderland, however, is a study of the tunnel and the internal psychological shifts that take place in the creative process of occupying the space ‘between worlds’. It seems to me no accident that Alice is of a certain age, between childhood and adolescence, when the magical mind is still open, yet the brain is able to reason. The imaginative power of children – their ability to believe in new worlds with seemingly little stimulus is surely the inspiration for Carroll’s magical story. Was it truly his invention? Or perhaps rather, the documentation of a game enacted by young children who have the keys to the everlasting Wonderland – a timeless world of Now found through the simple adventure of play.


  • Solo Show of work from the Alice in Wonderland series created for City Reads, part of Brighton Festival, 2007
    11/04/2013
    Comments (0)
    Alice's Adventures Under Ground, Brighton 2007
    Solo Show of work from the Alice in Wonderland series created for City Reads, part of Brighton Festival, 2007
  • New photographs will be on display as part of this year’s Brighton Festival which link Alice in Wonderland to a secret tunnel beneath the city.  Photographer Lisa Creagh stumbled on surreal scenes when she explored the tunnel, which leads from Sussex Square gardens to the sea.  It is said to have been the inspiration for the rabbit hole into which Alice tumbles to her adventures in Wonderland.
    26/04/2005
    Comments (0)
    Lost in Wonderland, Brighton Dome, 2005
    New photographs will be on display as part of this year’s Brighton Festival which link Alice in Wonderland to a secret tunnel beneath the city. Photographer Lisa Creagh stumbled on surreal scenes when she explored the tunnel, which leads from Sussex Square gardens to the sea. It is said to have been the inspiration for the rabbit hole into which Alice tumbles to her adventures in Wonderland.
© Lisa Creagh 2017