I have always observed myself observing. This act of watching finds concrete form in diaries – with sketches, annotations and exhortations to myself – the stuttering backwards and forwards motion of my ideas. In 2007 I framed 100 of these pages and exhibited them as The 100 Page Diary.
A number of these diary pages are exhibited as part of The Alice Diaries. The exhibition can be read in the same way as the diary, only this time it is writ large in the form of sculptures, paintings and an installation of multiple ceramic forms.
The central theme of the Alice project is motivated by an anxious awareness of an environmental melt down. I explore (and in this I am not alone), the interface between humans and animals.
Re-visiting my childhood texts of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass I found an inversion of the traditional relationship between animal and humankind. In Wonderland it is the animals that have the knowledge. Alice, as the human, is the one who lacks the key of understanding. The animals seem to understand how the world works.
Yet The Alice Diaries is not a didactic animal rights manifesto, although this may well be its subtext. Neither is it intended as an illustration of Carroll’s tales. The exhibition is a way of making sense of an increasingly confusing and seemingly dangerous world. Our task is to try and make sense of our place in it as we tumble through time, together with our co-travellers – the animals whose planet we share.