Saturday, 25 April 2009

March hares and tea-parties - our review of the Budget.

As we know only too well for fiscal calendars April is the end of one year and the start of the next and as such it is the time for the government's annual budget announcement. No surprise then that it is a time associated with mad March hares and April fools. Little seems to have altered this year amidst the global economic meltdown save a remarkable co-incidence with our own schedule at the gallery.

I couldn't help but notice as I passed by the newsstand outside the Ritz a witty post-budget tabloid headline which read Alistair in Wonderland. This made me chuckle as I opened the doors on our own exhibition of artwork for the newly published version of the book to which this alludes. In stark contrast to the fanciful machination of the chancellor, JohnVernon Lord's artwork for this exquisite publication by Artists' Choice Editions is a masterpiece.

Top of his game and deservedly regarded as one of the great illustrators of our generation John's illustrations are truly worth the journey to visit to this exhibition. The elegance of the line drawing is almost musical, and the sophistication of interpretation of such a popular book can only be regarded as unrivalled. Of particular interest is the textual blue highlight of Alice's speech throughout the story, and coupled with the somewhat unusual feature that Alice does not appear until the final page-spread all contribute to this being a throroughly original chapter in the canon of Alices. It goes without saying that we have had a stream of enthused visitors pouring through the gallery doors since our tea-party on the 21st. Perhaps Mr Darling should heed some advice and not try to paint white roses red, or it may be off with his head.

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, published by Artists' Choice Editions:
Sold exclusively through The Illustration Cupboard these beautifully crafted books are limited to 280 copies at £68, or the lavishly produced slip-case editions with leather bindings (60 copies only) at £260. These latter rarities feature the endpapers on the casing and include two of John's limited edition engravings of which one is beautifully hand-coloured. All the books are signed and numbered by the artist and would make an ideal special gift or welcome addition to any serious collection.

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