The Annotated Alice

Lewis Carroll’s works featuring his real life “child friend” Alice Liddell, have been studied intensely over the last century. A story that stemmed from a small little tale he told Alice and her two sisters on an afternoon out on the Thames river. Virginia Woolfe once said that the Alice books were “not exactly for children, they are the only books in which we become children”. The stories have always had the ability to spark some sort of nostalgic and imaginative sense in all of its readers, however what is it that makes these stories so complex and impressionable? 

In this unique presentation of the beloved ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, audiences will have the ability to make their own interpretations of this overly-interpretated piece of literature. One side of the book will make you see, while the other makes you think. The text portion of the book is Carroll’s original story as well as its interpretation found in a study that lasted a decade by well known mathematician and psychologist of the 20th century, Martin Gardner. Gardner’s extensive study offers readers with annotations throughout the story, filling it with interesting and even disturbing notes and suggestions.  After reading Martin Gardner’s ‘Annotated Alice’, I illustrated a purely visual experience based off of the seemingly innocent story in conjunction with the often dark compelling annotations written by Gardner. With the story being split into two separate systems: “The Annotation” and “The Illusion”, viewers will use their subconscious, life experiences and intellect to establish a one-of-a-kind version of the Lewis Carroll ‘tale’.

Deliverables: Double sided book (text and illustrated) with bellyband

 Art direction: Paul Kepple, Dermot McCormack