Rabbit Hole Redux - Auguste Blackman's 'Curiouser & Curiouser'

Posted by Angela Tandori on

Lewis Carroll's ‘Alice in Wonderland’ has turned 150. It’s star, a darling of our childhoods and our galleries returns to the art world with Auguste Blackman’s collection ‘Curiouser and Curiouser’.  Auguste, son of the famed Charles Blackman paints Alice as she tumbles through a world of mad hatter feasts, surging florals and lagoons of tears - just as brave and vivacious as ever.

Initially Auguste, the son of Charles Blackman refused to paint Alice.   She was his father’s.  However, in 2015 his mind changed after being asked to hold an exhibition by a local cafe.  Struck by the cafe’s splendour of cups, saucers and sweets, Alice swam to Auguste’s mind as the ideal centerpiece.  

In the subsequent series, Auguste ushers us back into the folds of childhood.  We find ourselves at first in a tangle of stimuli, with each work like a madhatter’s feast of visual delight.  There are also soft moments where Alice and the white rabbit embrace, their faces serene.  His father’s influence rings throughout, but the effects are different.  

Sons following in their father’s footsteps is not a new phenomenon.  ‘Curiouser and Curiouser’ continues the Blackman’s legacy in Australian art.  However, it also changes this legacy.  We see Alice, in the hands of a different generation, carry family ties and Australia’s love of her with fresh blood.   This collection, full of beautiful yet accessible moments implores a new generation to rediscover Alice.