Archive for the ALICE IN WONDERLAND Category

The Ghosts of 2010

Posted in ALICE IN WONDERLAND, ART, ART DISCOVERED AND UNCOVERED, ART HISTORY, ARTISTS BIRTHDAYS, BODIES IN PRESERVATION, CRITIQUE CORNER, DESIGN, FAVORITE ART: Art I LOVE, Lancaster, OUT AND ABOUT MANCHESTER, POEM CHALLENGES, YORK BREAK with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 2, 2011 by echostains

Although I have cut down on my  posts from one per day to one every 4 or 5 days in 2010 starting in August, I managed 256 posts.  I hope to improve on this year and continue to build up Bookstains, which is proving popular. This year Echostains celebrated 16 artists birthdays (another area I intend to improve on).  Some earlier categories have gone and I have plans for some new ones.  This year saw the arrival of slide shows and polls.  WordPress is a learning process and I’m still learning:-)

PS This video was completed in 2010 and was supposed to go on New Years day.    I have had to revise it because it was originally over 20 minutes long 😀

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Art I LOVE – Arthur Rackham

Posted in ALICE IN WONDERLAND, ART, ART HISTORY, DESIGN, FAVORITE ART: Art I LOVE with tags , , on June 23, 2010 by echostains

The Three Bears

I was first captivated by the illustrations of Arthur Rackham by reading the Ingoldsby Legends.  As children we weren’t really allowed to read this book because of the dark subject matter (mostly horror poems and stories).   Some of the illustrations were enough to induce nightmares – but all that made it all the more exciting!

Hey up the chimney Lass...Ingoldsby Legends

London born Rackham  (1867 – 1939) illustrated  a great many journals and books.  His style is easily recognised, because he uses muted water colours, his style is imaginative and whimsical and there are always tiny details in the picture which gradually reveal themselves to the viewer, making the work even more enjoyable.

Norns weaving destiny by Rackham for Seigfried's The ring

Rackham crops up everywhere.  I even came across his illustrations when I was researching the story of ‘The Ring’ by Wagner.  He was a prolific illustrator.  His Victorian style was in keeping with his imaginative readers, full of fun yet exciting too.  He illustrated poems too –   Goblin Market by Christina Rosetti among many.  Rip Van Winkle, Peter Pan – even Alice in Wonderland. When I look back at his illustrations, he recaptures my childhood and fills it with  carefree days of hiding away with  books (forbidden and allowed)  and transports me back to a magical land where the sun always shone and the corners were filled with the darkest shadows.   What a wonderful contribution to childhood!

Hey up the Chimney Lass image from here 

The Three Bears the illustration for English fairytales by Flora Annie Steel here

Wonderful images and info here

Rackham gallery here

Watched -Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland

Posted in ALICE IN WONDERLAND, period drama, WATCHED with tags , , , , on March 13, 2010 by echostains

A new grown up Alice

I got to watch Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland in 3D the other night.  I’d never seen a film in 3D before, so didn’t really have a clear idea of what to expect or what to compare it to.  I’m also a big fan of the Alice books, so I was hoping that I wasn’t going to be disappointed.

Drink me at your peril

Alice (played by Mia Wasikowska) is now nineteen penniless and Fatherless.  She is in line to marry an upper class buffoon, but is preoccupied with visions of the white rabbit and dreams of Wonderland.  It seems that she has some unfinished business there.  A party is held to cement the engagement (it seems a forgone conclusion that Alice will accept, given her circumstances).  Everyone waits with bated breath to hear Alice’s acceptance. Unfortunately, the wayward Alice catches sight of the white rabbit again and speeds off after it, down the rabbit hole and back into Wonderland.  Here Alice shrinks and expands with much alacrity – and good effect.

the brave Hatter - mad of course

Wonderland is not as she left it though, there has been much trouble since Alice the child left.  The nineteen year old Alice has grown up and is accused of losing her muchness by all and sundry.  In fact she has a job to convince everyone that she is indeed the original Alice.  Everyone seems madder including the Hatter (played by Depp with suitable madness).  Tweedledum and Tweedledee are both Matt Lucas – only much rounder.  the Bandersnatch is made much of (probably because he is linked in the Jabberwocky poem).  The Jabberwock itself is horrifying and hideous and rather dragon like.  Therefore there an inevitable George and the Dragon scenario ensues with Alice as St………Joan not George.  Curiouser and curiouser…..

Tweedle dee and Tweedle dum double trouble

Wonderland and Looking glass collide and we have the caterpillar stoned out of his very blue head and Dinah the Cheshire cat a wispy vaporising vision.  Watching this in 3D, I was amazed when this grinning feline seemed to come right out of the screen and into the audience!  It seemed so near that you could almost touch it.  There are a few of these little projections – but not too many to spoil the film.

the grinning cheshire cat

I’ve never seen anything in 3D before apart from ‘life’, so I didn’t know what to expect.  But overall I found the film quite entertaining.  Some of the special effects are great and I especially like the way that the Victorian Alice proved herself independent in her thinking.  The story itself left me dissatisfied though and perhaps this was because it is childhood tale taken into adulthood – an adult in a childs world.  Maybe this was deliberate on Burton’s part, to make Alice seem ungainly.  As it is, Alice doesn’t really fit into either world – Wonderland or her real life.

the Red Queen

Bonham Carter is a spoilt nasty cruel little Queen, the exact opposite to her sister the white Gaga like queen who is frankly, just ‘odd’ and a little to like Glinda the good queen out of the Wizard of Oz for my liking.  Yes, there is some Lewis Carroll in this film, but I think in order to avoid disappointment, accept that though there are various components and characters from the books – this is no fairytale or literal translation of Carroll’s books.  once you have accepted that, it’s time to put your 3D glasses on, lie back and enjoy this film!

her sister the white queen

Some images HERE

Mad March and rabbits too

Posted in ALICE IN WONDERLAND, ART, HISTORY, LIVING IN THE PAST: NOSTALGIA, period drama with tags , , , , , , on March 2, 2010 by echostains

'Spar' and 'Dancer' sculptures by Jan Sweeney

It may be March 1st when I’m writing this – but it will be March 2nd when you read it as I always schedule my posts and I’d forgotten all about St Davids Day.  No point of celebrating it now (those ancestors will be spinning in their graves, along with St Andrew and St Casimir).

the white rabbit by Tenniel

When I think of March 1st (which I obviously did – but too late)  I always think of white rabbits.  We were always told that it was lucky to say ‘white rabbits’ three times when we woke on the 1st day of March.  But why?

There are many variations on ‘White rabbit, white rabbit’ white rabbit’ all mentioned in an interesting article in Wikipedia.  It does get a bit complicated, but the rabbit tradition seems to have travelled all over the world;

“In some areas in Georgia, particularly in the Atlanta area, many people have begun saying “wabbit wabbit” as another variation.” (Wikipedia) 

The mad March hare with straw (a sign of madness) on his head

The wonderfully mad March hare in Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland is another reminder of this month…and the Tim Burton film.  The hare cannot keep still in the story and is full of energy.

In real life he’s not much different either (though he’s not drinking tea…) he is leaping, twitching and boxing other hares in an overly excited way.  Is it a coincidence that hare’s mating season begins February and carries on until September?   Perhaps they’re at their most erratic in March?

a baby moon gazing hare garden ornament

A lot of hare sculptures are depicted as gazing at the moon.  Pagans believed that a hare staring at the moon brought fertility, regrowth and rebirth.  the hare is sacred to the goddess Eostre which gives her name to Easter and of course the reincarnation of the hare into the Easter bunny!

William Morris tapestry

I won’t be caught out again with my white rabbits (the same applies to every month).  Also, forewarned is forearmed and I shall be looking out for the Ides of March (15th ) too ……..

My latest poem experiment here… ‘Three For March’ Haiku

Jane Sweeney sculptures here

Moon gazing hare garden ornament available from here

PS

Teapots – all things Alice

Posted in ALICE IN WONDERLAND, ART, DESIGN, TEAPOTS - A HOMAGE TO UNUSUAL TEAPOTS with tags , , , , on February 28, 2010 by echostains

 Tim Burton’s ‘Alice in Wonderland’ film  is released March 5 this year and from  this clip,  it looks a lot of fun.  I’m not keen on Alice’s off the shoulder dress though – is there any need really?  The visual effects look very interesting though.  I found the floating Cheshire cats floating head on the trailer quite frightening.  But so it is in the book, as it fades away and only the grin is left.

cardewTeapot

Surprised to see Tweedle dum and Tweedle dee in the new film though as they are charaters  from Alice though the Looking Glass.   So it would seem that both books and characters have been lumped together.  But, back to the teapots.  It is easy to see why the teapot  serves as a vehicle to Alice. The teapot is central to the tea-party where we get to meet some interesting characters – especially the Mad Hatter.

I actually have this Tony Woods teapot

  I love the wild Mad Hatter teapot by Paul Cardew.  Cardew seems very fond of Alice – he’s done lots of teapots with using the Alice theme.

Paul Cardew MadHatter Teapot

Paul Cardew Alice teapot

I’ve cheated really with this image.  It’s actually a favor box and I think it’s lovely!  Available  HERE  

favor box

 

This unusual teapot has ‘Drink Me’ on the side – obvious really!  But I like the reference to the time on the lid and the hearts on the handle.

drink me teapot

My latest poem is ‘Her Facebook has it ‘ here

Lots of Alice porcelain HERE

White Drink me teapot link here

Teapots teapots website