Sunday, 27 July 2008

Seven Impossible Things

iassen ghiuselev - alice in wonderlandALICE IN WONDERLAND is a wonder-ful, odd and slightly unnerving tale loved by people old and people young across and around the world, as well as me. In Lewis Carroll's sequel, Alice Through The Looking Glass, Alice meets the White Queen, who informs her that she tries to believe at least six impossible things before breakfast; and what an admirable ambition indeed! Today I am lucky enough to be featured on Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast - Why Stop At Six? ~ a fabulous blog about books. Jules and Eisha, who have created an entertaining and informative haven of bookish and sometimes non-bookish things, have written a lovely thing about my work for this week's featured illustrator post. I am among a host of other fabulous illustrators featured, and archived helpfully there for later perusal. Do wander over and explore.

To continue the Alice theme, I would like to introduce you to an exquisite edition of Alice In Wonderland that I have had on my shelf for a few years (snippets to the left), but which never fails to enchant me.
This book (perched inexplicably up there in our lovely little ebay-snaffled belfast sink that sits at present in the corner of the bedroom, waiting to be fitted into the ever developing home-on-wheels) is illustrated by Iassen Ghiuselev a Bulgarian artist with the most amazing and old fashioned sort of talent, whose medieval wonderland of works demonstrate enviable skill with light and foreshortening.
The main illustrations from this book are all taken from one painting, measuring 20 inches by 40 inches, which took him six years to complete... it is painted with gouache on wooden panel and is for me both humbling and inspiring to look at.
All the topsy-turvyness of Alice's world is represented, Escher-like in a dimension-defying landscape populated by Cheshire cats and Duchesses, playing cards and piglets, white rabbits and hatted madmen, marmalade jars and dormice ...
I was pleased to find that he now has a website where you can see his Alice works and many others: Pinoccio, Don Quixote, Arthur, Orpheus as well as several tarot decks to name a few.

~~~~~~~
And talking of caterpillars, (which I might have been - look there he is over there, smoking a hookah pipe and sitting on a mushroom) I have the most impossible thing of all to show you ...
The other day Tui was taking off the big front wheels of our truck and swapping them with the back ones (with good reason :) but it's not relevant here) and lo and behold, what should he find living in the 6mm gap between the brake drum and where the wheel goes round but these handsome fellows ... each one on a different wheel!! Isn't that just incredible? We are unsure what they are... moths-in-waiting perhaps? You can see the wings being formed. They are now hiding in a dark slightly-ajar drawer, so maybe soon a magnificent and beautiful beast will spread its wings and fly forth slightly dizzily.
I think the White Queen with her believing of six impossible things before breakfast would have been quite bowled over indeed to hear of these tiny creatures metamorphosing inside a beautiful shell going round and round and round and round and round and ...

And do click on them to make them larger ~ Tui's photos are so good you can almost see their thoughts ...

24 comments:

Tess said...

Good article about you, and I love the illustrations from your copy of Alice.
Have you ever thought of illustrating her yourself...???

littlerobot said...

Ahhh Rima. That book looks divine. Now I have to buy it! If you have any more book suggestions, please send them my way! :)

littlerobot said...

Ahhhhh. notices your entire library section....and now devouring all titles :)

~Gina Cuff said...

Hi Rima,

I am awarding you the Brilliant Weblog Award. If you would like to accept it just pop over to my blog.

~Gina :)

Ciara said...

Gosh Rima, where to begin! Each of your post is like a little journey that takes us to weird and wonderful places.

What a great interview. A proper article, and well deserved. I'm thrilled to hear there's a book in the making. (As will a certain young lady!)

Thank you so much for the amazing illustrators link. What incredibly beautiful drawings. That book is going to the top of my must-have list.

And our next parallel-lives episode? (Take a peek) Moths... One of my loves. I can't wait to see these two in all their glory...

Thanks for all this wonderful dream fodder Rima, off to bed now to see what you have conjured!

Jules at 7-Imp said...

Wow. I've got to see that book. Thanks for the tip. I love to see new illustrators, too. I went and played around at his site.

It was entirely our pleasure to feature you. Thanks for playing!

moreidlethoughts said...

What a wonderful "Alice" this one is! I had an early edition of the Tenniel illustrations, then, later, a huge book with several colour plates. Very expensive when I was little, so it was much-treasured.
I've wanted to ask about Tui's name - in New Zealand(my homeland) the tui is the Maori name for a songbird and sometimes a person's given name.Is your Tui also a "kiwi?"

Shelley Noble said...

Not surprised. I always assumed your coach was travelling on wings!

Jocelyn said...

What a visual feast! I'm here by way of Pam, who linked you, and what a pleasure.

mama p said...

Among other things, so happy to see those pics Tui took! I've been reading so many little caterpillar-type books to my son ("The Very Hungry" one, for instance) that I've been hankering to see a true cocoon...Thanks for posting them, they are fascinating.

dragonladych said...

That is such a strange thing, one chrysalid in each wheel? Seems to me there is a story in this.
I'm sorry to say that even though I studied biology I can't say what they are. I guess you'll find out soon enough ;)

Isn't it amazing how Alice is still enchanting every generation, it's such a fscinating story, any illustrators dream..

Rima said...

Glad everyone's enjoying the caterpillary Alicy loveliness...

To answer your question moreidlethoughts about Tui's name -well in fact I'm the one with 1/2 Kiwi blood :)... his name is just his name ;)
I do love the song of the feathered tuis :)
x R

Jess said...

Those book illustrations are magical! Great article about you too. As for those moths, well I have a moth phobia. (It's all that fluttering!)x

d. moll, l.ac. said...

Nice spot light on you in "7 Impossible". I think you are getting rather famous. Ghuiselev is quite wonderful. I love his Alice and everything. When I was 7 I crashed my bike, going too fast don't you know, and was suspected to have a concussion. To remedy this the Doc had my mom keep me in a dark room for a week, all I had to amuse myself were records of Alice In W.....you can imagine the rest.

mister M said...

felicitation, c'est super bien!
:D

Gwen Buchanan said...

Super and fabulous, Rima!!!.. great story here and in the 'before breakfast' article..
i really enjoy your imagination and presentations!!! such talent!!

willow said...

I just might have to own this Ghiuselev book! Thanks so much for sharing, Rima! :)

Yoli said...

Alice in Wonderland is my favorite fairy tale. There is so much richness and layers to the story that it can be interpreted in a myriad of ways. Love it. Hopefully you will make a clock with that theme.

I can't wait for my clock! Please make sure it has some red in it!!! LOL.

Love Tui's Moth. You are right, his photos kick ass.

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Goodness, I do love coming here! Such a magical place, and congratulations on the well deserved attention your work has been getting!
Best regards from Edward and me!

Karen said...

I've always loved Alice. It's a feast for the imagination. My love of white rabbits and hares began with Alice.
I always love to see different visual interpretations of the story. One of my favouites is Jan svankmejer. Back in my college days, a tutor introduced me to the film and I,ve loved it since then.
Thanks for sharing, I will visit this illustrators site and take a peek.

becca said...

What a truly magical blog ... and I love my illustration you sent! Fabulous!

herhimnbryn said...

Am off to think of 7 impossible things now. Thankyou Lady R.

Joanna said...

That looks a wonderful book. Sorry for not being around much of late, thankyou for the lovely print ages ago. I do hope things are not too bad with loosing the work on the hard disk, I still need to make a back up. Love your clocks and the progress on your wheeled house.

Carl V. said...

I am a big fan of Alice in Wonderland and this is an absolutely lovely book. I am certainly going to have to keep an eye out for it. I have the really nice annotated version and I have an Alice shrine on one wall in my office at work. I just love all the visual imagery in the Lewis Carroll's words.