When I was 13, I was picked from among dozens of other girls to play Alice in a community musical theater production of Alice in Wonderland. I’ve felt a kinship with the character ever since. Something about the way that Alice tries to remain herself and navigate through a strange and ever-changing world around her resonated with me as a teenager and young adult experiencing the huge cultural shift of moving from an analog to a digital society at the end of the millennium. (I remember that production like it was yesterday, including the words to some of the songs. I even still have the playbill somewhere! )
In college I somewhat continued this theme, studying Baroque literature, art, and music. Baroque poetry especially stands out for what the Italians called the concetto — highly ornate extended metaphors and tropes within tropes that remind me of the mathematical and rhetorical puzzles in Lewis Carroll’s work. In 1598, in his dialogue Del concetto poetico, Italian literary theorist Camillo Pellegrino wrote that the concetto is more than just a figure of ornate style, but “is a thought of the intellect, an image or resemblance of true things and of things which resemble the truth, formed in the fantasy[.]”.
As an artist, I am fascinated with the idea that we can find truth through fantasy and imagination, and maybe even nonsense. As if moving through our own version of Wonderland we, like, Alice, can find ourselves.
This is my journey through Wonderland. Some days I’m Alice — seeking truth, order, and the best version of myself as an artist and a parent. Other days I get to play the White Rabbit or the Cheshire Cat leading you through this maze as the CEO of fun, imagination, and a little nonsense.
I hope you’ll join me – the rabbit hole awaits!