If you are a fantasist with an imaginative mind, you will most definitely find yourself in reverie at this breathtaking exhibition. The ‘Alice: Curiouser and Curiouser’ is a major exhibition which is temporarily set at the V&A (Victoria & Albert Museum) in South Kensington, and includes over 158 year’s worth of its origins to Alice-Inspired modern day reinventions. The exhibition was beautifully designed by award-winning Tom Piper, famous for his work for the Royal Shakespeare Company as well as his efforts in the Poppy Installations at the Tower of London.
Despite such a busy, bustling environment; we felt completely immersed from the first point of entry.
This exhibition gives you visual joy and is truly the blockbuster of the year at the V&A, and since restrictions were easing at the time of our visit, people were itching to get tickets to experience the sought-after exhibit, following high desirability and limited access.
If you live in London or visit frequently, and have an appreciation for art; I undoubtedly encourage you to register for a V&A Membership. It gives you VIP entry with a plus one to all exhibitions free of charge throughout the year, without any hassle of booking in advance and delayed waiting times. In addition to this, you will have access to a V&A Member-Only lounge! Notwithstanding the price per annum, you will definitely end up saving quite a lot of money.
So our journey ‘down the Rabbit Hole’ initiated in the first section where we got to admire the early beginnings of Alice’s Adventure in Wonderland, which first emerged in 1865. This hallway was all-encompassing which held the original scripts, drawings, figurines & paintings, which were formulated as early as the Victorian Era.
This was such an explanatory and engrossing environment where we were able to admire and visually experience the origins that formed the core of the story, which later developed into modern-day Alice in Wonderland. It was fascinating to see the differentiation on how we perceive the famous novel today, in comparison to the origination of the famed blockbuster.
Adjacent to the first section, we followed the path which led us to the next room. We were simply left gobsmacked when we saw the inventive composition of how the exhibition was able to display such art in a theatrical, expressive way. This truly made us feel like we were Alice IN the wonderland, it was magical, vivid and beautifully premeditated. I was immediately drawn to the dining table, I felt in awe watching how the projection of colours and patterns made the area feel mystifying! This is also in conjunction with the affirmation of Cheshire Cat, one of my favourite characters from the novel. His countenance from the display was admirable to watch, especially with his well-known distinctive, mischievous grin!
Thereafter, we stumbled upon the next room in which we found quite peculiar at first glance; There were individuals sitting down under a giant flowery vine wearing amusing goggles. This is where we realised this was some VR experience which we were absolutely not expecting! So of course, we joined the queue to have a go ourselves.
Our venture even further into the Rabbit Hole most definitely ensured a consciousness-expanding trip into wonderland; produced as a result of a partnership between V&A and HTC Vive Arts, in conjunction with some original artistic production by Icelandic illustrator Kristjana S Williams, we were not disappointed with how mind-blowing it felt! In regards to the Virtual Reality experience, we were a POV of Alice and left to navigate ourselves across the otherworldly landscape! It became interactive by taking part in curious challenges, encouraging us to use hand movements and 180 degree views to accomplish our tasks & defeat the Queen of Hearts!
As you can imagine, this was such a fun encounter which wasn’t expected whatsoever; If you get the chance to experience the VR at the exhibition, do not skip it; even if the queue is lengthy!
To conclude our review, ‘Alice: Curiouser and Curiouser’ serves its name without a doubt! The exhibition will most definitely leave you feeling curious, the inquisitiveness you feel throughout the exhibit is a result of finely executed art which not only tells you the story of Alice in Wonderland, but immerses you in the creativity and imagination of how it feels to take an adventure ‘into the Rabbit-Hole’. Overall such a brilliant experience in which I cannot recommend enough!
Visitors: 3,992,198 (2019); Ranked 6th nationally (2019)
Tube Station: South Kensington