15The Laing Gallery in Newcastle will be hosting an Alice in Wonderland themed ‘Drink Me’ event on Thursday 15th September.
Some of the mysterious and wondrous services available will include wine tasting from Carruthers & Kent and drinks from Ouseburn Coffee Co, Wylam Brewery and Poison Cabinet. Beverage experts from across the city will provide new combinations, special ingredients and a few tips on the science of drink-making and techniques.
The event coincides with the Laing Gallery’s Alice in Wonderland exhibition which showcases the work of artists, illustrators, musicians, filmmakers and designers over the past 150 years who have been inspired by the enchanting tale.
The exhibition features illustrations by Salvador Dali, Arthur Rackham, Mervyn Peake, Ralph Steadman, Leonard Weisgard and Peter Blake. Most notably, Carroll’s own illustrations will appear in the collection. Sketched amongst the hand written draft of the original text, Carroll’s own annotations show Alice with dark hair, much different to the more recent depictions of a blonde Alice favoured by Disney.
The exhibition will consist of works sourced from the British Library’s collection as well as special loans from the Victoria & Albert Museum. It will mark the 150th anniversary of the publication, which is highly regarded as being one of the most famous children’s stories ever written.
Helen Melody, of the British Library said: “What you see here is a representative sample of all the material we have,”
“Because there is so much we have had to be quite narrow in our focus, concentrating on the story of the illustrations.”
One of the key reasons Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland is so popular is that it revolutionised children’s literature of the time.
According to Helen Melody: “Broadly speaking, prior to the publication of this book, children’s literature was quite didactic and moralistic. It was written to instruct children how to behave,”
“Carroll’s stories are so much more whimsical and child-friendly,”
“I think 20 editions of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland came out between 1907 and 1920 and that points to its popularity,”
“It’s one of those enduring books which was designed for children but is appreciated by adults,”
“When I came to read it again I realised how clever and witty it is. There are things you remember, like ‘Off with his head’ and ‘Curiouser and curiouser’, but that is just the tip of the iceberg.”
Other upcoming Wonderland events held at the museum will include a top hat making workshop, a teapot making workshop, butterfly pinning with Moth Studios, a textile accessory workshop and a tea cosy day.
The exhibition will run from 14th May to 2nd October 2016.