Friday, July 02, 2010

The Opening of the Alice Exhibition in Sheffield

Organised within such a short space of time that one could hardly believe it, the Alice exhibition opened at the Western Bank Library Gallery at Sheffield University on Tuesday evening, 29th June. The curator of the show, Professor Vanessa Toulmin was instrumental in bringing about one of the most attractively displayed collections of the original illustrations ever mounted.

Safe within the latest ultra secure display cabinets, the original illustrations were lit by tiny, discreet lighting pods which highlighted the intricate cross hatching of the drawings, while a ceiling mounted projector above a display screen ran the Swiss-made biographical film which has proved so popular in both Switzerland and France recently. As in both the previous exhibitions, visitors were very moved by the beautiful film.

As well as other specially invited guests, those opening the show included Dr Jamie Andrews, (Head of Modern British Manuscripts at the British Library), Professor Keith Burnett (Vice chancellor of Sheffield University), the Curator Vanessa Toulmin and myself as representative of the Mervyn Peake Estate. It was a wonderful evening in which Alice cakes were served, an exotic performer read our Alice invitation cards and played tricks with playing cards that left the audience gasping. Pimms was served throughout. The exhibition was featured during the day on Radio Sheffield by a well known local presenter, while The Yorkshire Post and the Sheffield Star both ran extensive articles.


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