Lewis Carroll's 150-year-old iconic story about Alice in Wonderland is a one that is very personal to me and dear to my heart. At a very young age, during a time where I felt utterly lost and entirely alone in the world; a nightmarish time of wicked torment and vicious discontent, when I did not know who I was or where I was going, Alice’s imagination of Wonderland inspired me to express myself artistically, which in turn led me to photography.
Since almost every decision, relationship and accomplishment that I have ever achieved in my photographic career can be attributed back to that story, and since it had such a dramatic impact on my life during a time of adversity, I always liked the idea that one day I would return to it and create my own adaptation of Alice and her descent into Wonderland. But my version would be a much darker, more convoluted re-imagining that would follow Alice through an identity crisis.
Somewhere between being inspired by the novels and a distorted reflection of my own inner conflicts, at its core Finding Alice is a story of exploration and discovery, one that dives deep into the psychology of trust and fear in being a creative; trust in knowing and believing in oneself, and the fear of scrutiny and judgment from others in doing so. As creators we often feel lost and beside ourselves, conflicted about whom we once were, who we are now, and who we are expected to be.
The creative process is overwhelmed with fear and anxiety, often so crippling it can stifle our creativity, and yet our immense desire and boundless urge to create, tears us apart from within. Using Alice and the realm of Wonderland as metaphors to hint at issues of identity and belonging, my vision for the project is to suggest an unsettling sense of duality between the ‘older self' being left behind and forgotten, and the ‘newer self' that is still out of reach and yet to be discovered.
Wonderland is not the mysterious and magical dream world we have been led to believe it to be, nor a figment of our imagination. In fact it is very real and yet, only few have ever found their way there, and none have ever returned. The dark of Wonderland is a twisted, chaotic labyrinth of peril and uncertainty, a rather enticing and beautiful tangle, but a never-ending maze of obscurity nonetheless; someplace where things go lost and stay forever gone, and never to be found again.
Mirroring her life complexities, the principal story of Finding Alice chronicles an identity struggle through the eyes of a very different kind of Alice to whom we know. With an already shattered and fragmented mind, it is not curiosity that leads Alice down the rabbit hole, but her incessant need for self-worth and a sense of purpose. We chase Alice from a dreamless sleep into a dream itself, a dream more real than reality ever could be; yet one she can never be awoken from!
Thank you for taking the time to read about my personal project. With my intention to tell the story over 3 chapters, 'Finding Alice' will be the most challenging idea I will have ever attempted, but one I am excitedly passionate about. With plans for a later book publication, my desire for the project is to create an immersive, high-fantasy fashion narrative, which I hope will inspire others not to give into the fear of uncertainty, but instead, to trust in their own dreams and aspirations.
Telling Alice's story in a way it has never been told before, and yet staying true to the grandiose ingenuity of the original novels, is something I feel compelled to do. And so I am on the hunt for an exceptional creative team who have the talent and imagination to help me create something rather extraordinary. Therefore if you have something amazing to offer that can help bring my vision to life and would like to join me on this adventure, then I would LOVE to hear from you!
“Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will.” - Suzy Kassem
Creating an epic series of images like this is resource intensive, incredibly time consuming and considerably expensive. However, you can help make this idea a reality by becoming a patron, and pledging a contribution to help towards the production costs of this ambitious project. As a thank you for your support, you will have the rare opportunity to get involved in the creative process and enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime experience, as well as having your very own custom piece of art.
It is the support from lots of people who donate small amounts of money that help fund artists and photographers like me, so that we may continue creating meaningful and purposeful work, which will hopefully have a positive impact on somebody else's life. Without this support, it is almost impossible to create such an intensive body of work. With your help, I believe my project has the potential to inspire struggling artists, much in the same way Alice's story once inspired me!