Well what can I say....as my first book for the Artful Readers Club challenge, I chose an old battered copy of Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll.
I bought it from a church jumble sale many years ago for 2 reasons, firstly , it was printed in 1963(my birth year) and secondly, because the previous owner had added their own art to the pages.
I believe this to be a representation of the Queen and King of Hearts playing Flamingo Crochet...
This would appear to be Alice and the other creatures listening to stories to dry off after their long swim in the lake of tears...
and I think this is a representation of the Lobster Quadrille (it is the only reference with fish lol, but this is only a guess)
I am sure you are all familiar with the story of Alice's adventures, but I was always certain that the film makers had exaggerated the chaotic/hyperactive elements to the story...I was wrong.
As the parent of a child assessed with Asperger's syndrome(part of the autistic spectrum) I was left totally agog at the similarities in the speech patterns used by Carroll, with those of my son. Right from the beginning of the story, it was like listening to my son. Especially the parts where Alice is arguing with herself "to the point of making herself cry" from telling herself off for cheating herself whilst playing crochet alone. The constant disapproving of her own behaviour, and second guessing her own decisions, and especially the inability to accept her own ability to learn, are all hurdles I see my son struggle over on a daily basis. How many times a day do I say to him..."enough now...your talking nonsense..."
And that is what this novel is most famous for, the nonsense. Unfathomable riddles and totally surreal characters. I now suspect Carroll's endeavours may have been an attempt to show how he actually saw the world around him. Full of confusion and contradiction or maybe he had met a child like mine, who on the outside appears like any other, while on the inside they live in turmoil. constantly seeking approval and trying to do the right thing.
Reading the novel has lead me to embark on further adventures into Lewis Carroll's life, to see if my suspicions are correct.
My art is inspired by the "magic mushroom" that the Caterpillar is sitting on. I will blog the process tomorrow as this is already a long post :D
I seriously suggest any parent or friend or teacher of children in the Autistic Spectrum read this short novel with new eyes. I believe it is so much more than "nonsense".
Enjoy :D XXX