Will you, won’t you, will you join the dance? is the fourth exhibition in The Alice Sequence. In this series of exhibitions I interrogate the curious interface between Alice in Wonderland and the animals that inhabit her dream world. Using ceramic sculpture, painting, drawings and text, I explore the nature of animal/human communication within the fecund metaphor provided by Lewis Carroll’s tales of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass.
Will you, won’t you, will you join the dance? derives its impetus from the nursery rhyme character of Humpty Dumpty, a fanciful creature, half man, half egg who finds himself in Alice’s daydream in Through the Looking Glass. In the exhibition he is depicted perched on a stool, legs crossed, or he is upside down, or dancing, his spherical form precariously balanced on his underdeveloped legs. As an indicator of his vanity, he is shod in a pair of bright red ballet slippers. I have called him H.D. Arnoldus, an allusion to the metaphorical imp that was said to sit on my shoulder as a little girl. He also pays a passing nod to the tokoloshe, which, in South African folklore, is a malevolently mischievous creature.