lewis carroll through the looking glass

mirror art by ilia chidzey

Alice in Wonderland has always been fascinating subject for me. Sometimes I feel like I am falling down that rabbit hole also, spiralling into a curiouser and curiouser kaleidoscope of colour. I also love Lewis Carroll’s word games and experimental semantics. His twists of logic and looking glass world, where once you step into it, everything becomes a reflection. I remember a time when I used to ‘mirror write’ all my notes. An exercise in visualisation which I proved to be quite good at. I won’t say that I am not disturbed by more recent information that has come to light about his relationship with the real Alice, but we will save my anguish for another day. Before I knew too much, I adored Alice’s mesmerising universe and I return to it with this portrait of Lewis Carroll as Alice.

Charles Lutwidge Dodgson morphs into a psychedelic fusion of reflection, mushroom, white rabbit and Alice. Now I think about it, it sounds a little like something Heston Blumenthal might concoct… Stand back from this portrait and more images unfurl in the background and this story builds in depth.

This artwork was an early mirror painting, and I was a little excited about my new direction. I asked the amazing Sharna Hupfeld to record the process so I could share my discovery from the bottom of the rabbit’s hole. I love the video she produced for me!

Since this painting, I have commenced a series of commissioned works all with an Alice theme. Croquet and Tears, Down the Rabbit Hole and Storm in a Teapot are all part of a series of mirrors. You couldn’t paint Alice on anything but mirror!

Airbrushed background using acrylic inks, overlaid with black enamel brushwork.

Cut and shaped 3mm mirror.

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