A Visit to Wonderland

I went with Mr. Pear Tree to Wonderland last weekend. The Arts Council of the Central Okanagan and a group of art students from UBC-O, led by professor Byron Johnson, teamed up to turn the former Ponderosa Motel off Hwy 97 in Kelowna into a Wonderland-themed art instillation.

Dubbed The Mad Hatter: Through the Looking Glass, the maze of rooms in the little complex featured work by first, second, third and fourth year sculpture students. If you missed the show, which ran from 5-14 March, you missed out on a fun explore. In addition to the expected cups of tea, mad hats, caterpillars and card themed installations, there were windy tunnels and secret passages to explore, and lots of quirky details to discover.

Here are some of my favourite parts of the show:

This scene, called “Painting the Roses Red,” was put together by Emily Collins.

“Why is a Raven Like a Writing Desk,” by Alex Goodall, had an old door hanging in the middle of the room (above, left) and keys covering the floor (above, right).

“The Queen of Hearts Love Tea with Tarts,” by Ashley Harder, had lots of Wonderlandish details, like tea cups attached to the walls, and hanging in the mesh-entwined light fixture (above, left). I was especially enamoured of the heart mosaic on the floor (top).

“Mercury Poisoning,” by Victoria Martinez and Kylie Miller was a touch diabolical, with cryptic messages and red paint splattered on the wall, contrasting more civilized patterns, sketches and scenes like the sewing station, above left.

I loved these woolly balls, hung from the ceiling in “Connected,”, by Judith Mueller.

I thought for a minute that I was translated from Wonderland to Narnia in the room called “Curiouser,” by Avery De Rousie and Jennifer Lauriault. The room featured twinkly lights behind black cloth overhead, and a forest’s worth of trees. At the centre was the painting, above, which impressed me with its gnarly bark and use techniques I learned in my recent painting class!

The pathway in “The Mush Room” (above), created by Jennifer Dansereau and Dayle Mousseau, was made of playing cards and led to a playing card tower (top, right). I thought the fabric roses (above left) were a whimsical touch.

Outside, painted on the back of a building, was this mural titled “The Chronology of Curiosity,” by Dylan Ranney and Liz Dumontet.

Did you make it out? What was your favourite part?

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  1. Great photos Lori-Anne. Very sad I didn’t hear about it until today.

  2. Yes, we made it out and actually made it a ‘field trip’ for my staff. Inspiration comes in all forms and besides a getaway from the everyday is often all it takes to make ‘work’ a little more interesting! We loved the creative works and especially all the textures included for each room, on walls,ceilings and floors! Must say ‘Curiouser’ was my favorite,but then I’m a sucker for the outdoors and rabbit holes!

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