Surreal wonders

Artwork by Peter Smith
Artwork by Peter Smith

A collection based around a classic work of literature from a surrealist artist is being launched at the Evergreen Art Cafe on Saturday.

Peter Smith’s new collection entitled Lost Alice and will celebrate 150 years of Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll.

The series of six new oil paintings and four sculptures feature familiar characters including Alice, the Hatter, the Caterpillar and the White Rabbit.

Yet this ‘Wonderland’ is also unfamiliar – a place that is now under threat from Alice’s last visit when she left behind seven sins from the mortal world.

The collection, which tells its own story of Alice’s adventures, has taken the acclaimed artist 9 months, 36kg of clay, 36 maquettes and over 5,000 individually made objects to create.

To accompany the new works, Peter Smith is writing a novel called ‘Lost Alice – Wonderland Unwound’.

He will be at the gallery and cafe in Sheaf Street, Daventry from 11am-3pm on Saturday to reveal his new works.

Peter Smith, who was signed by Birmingham based fine art publishers Washington Green in 2005, said:“We couldn’t ignore the fact that Alice in Wonderland celebrates its 150th birthday this year.

“Be prepared to view a different kind of Wonderland; a Wonderland twisted and crafted around classic literature mixed with fairy tales through the eyes of a very different Alice.”

Simon Williams from the Evergreen Art Cafe said:“Peter’s new collection invites the viewer into a wondrous world of surrealism and symbolism.

“Fans of the work can take pleasure in this collection on two levels; the expertly painted compositions – which Peter painstakingly built in clay before painting – and the story behind them.”

Originally from Mansfield, Nottingham, Peter Smith is a self-taught artist whose background in the fashion, media and advertising industries feeds into his artwork.

Alongside his wife Jayne, he is best known as the creator of one of the UK’s most collectable artwork brands – the famous striped rotund characters called the ‘Impossimals’.

Impossimal artwork is exclusively published in the UK by Washington Green Fine Art and distributed through its subsidiary, Castle Galleries, and other independent fine art retailers worldwide.

Jayne – also a highly collected artist – has produced two artworks depicting Alice’s descent into Wonderland in her signature style, which exudes fun and humour.

She said: “Our aim has always been to make people happy.

“We simply take a gentle childhood combine it with what makes us smile and paint it, if a smile is returned or a memory stirred then we have done our job.”