Alice Through the Looking Glass, opening next Friday, conjures a world you can’t help but get sucked into. When Alice (Mia Wasikowska) returns to of Underland, this time through a magic mirror, the adventures she goes on and the characters she encounters are even more colorful and vivid than the first time around. And a wonderful way to extend the experience of Alice Through the Looking Glass is a brand new Alice-themed art show, happening tonight at Los Angeles’ Hero Complex Gallery from 7 to 10 pm. (Don’t worry, they’ll also be online soon.) The show features 50+ female artists, debuting originals and prints inspired by the world of Alice Through the Looking Glass.
What makes the show even cooler is that it’s being co-presented by Amy Poehler’s wonderful Smart Girls organization, which is described as an “online community for young girls and the young at heart, which encourages women in volunteerism, activism, and cultural endeavors.” This meshes perfectly with Alice Through the Looking Glass’ themes of female empowerment, individualism, and creative cultural pursuits. Smart Girls also launched an Instagram contest (#InspiredByAliceContest), “allowing fans to submit their original artwork for a chance to also be displayed at the gallery event.” (The prints themselves are being done in conjunction with our friends at Disney Fine Art.)
Need to get even more excited? We have five exclusive images from the show, and an interview with artist Jackie Huang, who created an amazing cut out piece for the show.
Have you always been a fan of Alice in Wonderland? What about the story spoke to you?
I have definitely always been a fan of Alice in Wonderland! My husband and I watched the Disney animated film on our first date (all the way back in high school!) so it’s a very special memory for me. What’s always intrigued me about the story is how imaginative everything is. Things that should be complete nonsense somehow seem to make sense. It’s just so fun and creative and that’s what art is all about too.
How did your personal style align with the project?
The medium I work with is paper and one of the concepts I love to play with is dimensionality. So I found this project to be perfect. I was able to create a 3D Alice staring into the looking glass and make the world inside 3D too. I wanted to make it seem as if Alice is really about to step into Wonderland. If only I could go with her.
How did you decide to do the piece as a paper cut?
Since graduating art school, I’ve opted to work almost exclusively with paper. Something about being able to touch, feel, and shape, the paper makes it very special. You can capture the 3Dness of it in a photo, but seeing it in person is another experience all together.
What are you most looking forward to about Alice Through the Looking Glass?
There so much! I’m probably most looking forward to seeing the characters again. They are all very unique and intriguing so I’m looking forward to seeing how they come to life again on the screen. I also saw a clip that shows the White Queen opening a clock with a bunch of paper cranes swirling about. So I’m super excited about it because I love seeing paper being brought to life.
Your piece is great because it tips its hat to both the original Disney animated Alice in Wonderland and the new films. What went behind that decision?
That’s awesome that you caught that! Personally, I always imagine Alice in her blue dress, white apron, and black headband. I felt that representing her in that iconic manner would allow most people to recognize her. But I also wanted to make sure this piece paid tribute to the new film too. So if you look closely, you’ll see that the white rabbit and Cheshire Cat are modeled after Tim Burton’s characters. Also, I know that Time is a big character so there are hints of that as well with the rabbit and the sky pattern.
There’s a theme of time travel in the film. If you could go back to a different time period or an earlier part of your own life, where would you go?
Ha! I’d maybe go back to the beginning of college and tell myself to eat fewer waffles and chicken nuggets.
Maria Suarez Incan