Alice in wonderland is full of surrealism- it challenges the boundaries between dreams and reality, in surrealism strange creatures were created from normal objects, bizarre scenes and unexpected juxtapositions were present. Its surrealism that defines the scenes i have chosen to re-imagine in Alice in wonderland,
For example the idea of falling down a hole filled with books, maps and strange objects, into an entirely new world, Having a conversation with a sheesha smoking caterpillar and a tea party with a doormouse. Surrealism must foremost feature heavily in my illustrations, because if not it would not be true to the nature of the story, wonderland should really just be called “Surreal Land”. There are some artists that have already taken note of the surrealism present in Alice in Wonderland and created images responding to this. My favorites are those created by the iconic Surrealist- Salvador Dali:
Salvador Dali had painting skills reminiscent of the great masters of the renaissance, and a profoundly brilliant imagination. He created illustrations for the 1969 edition of Alice In Wonderland, when the psychedelic movement was in full swing. He made one full colour illustration for each chapter, and a front cover.
His illustrations for this edition were described as:
“his vision updates mid-century abstract expressionism as an LSD-fueled daydream ”
I love his take on the classic surrealist fable, because it was a totally new approach than the Tenniel-esque illustrations that remain the most highly connected to the story. I think the approach i will be taking with my illustrations, will hopefully be new too.
below are some of my favorite examples of his illustrations for the story, he used a photographic reproduction technique called “heliogravure” to create these, they are really expressive and a little bit trippy! Also below is a short introduction to how Heliogravure is used, it sounds rather complex!
The process involves two distinct steps. First, in a complex photochemical procedure that creates the intaglio surface, the photographic image is fixed and etched upon a specially prepared copper plate. The finished plate is then placed on a hand-turned press, and the image is printed onto dampened etching paper using special inks.