Saturday, November 19, 2016

Go ask Alice

click photo to enlarge
"Go ask Alice, when she's ten feet tall", From the song "White Rabbit" (written by Grace Slick) sung by Jefferson Airplane, 1967

It's difficult to "go ask Alice" today because Alice, like Maude, Vera, Sybil and Winifred are hard to come by, being names that have dropped out of fashion. In the mid-twentieth century such names belonged to mothers and grandmothers and were seen as old-fashioned. A group of new names took their place, and once they became common-place they too dropped out of use and along came yet more new names. But, in the later waves some of the older names began to be recycled and Sarah, Rose, Victoria, Daisy, Olivia and Lily, to name but a few, made a re-appearance. But not Alice, Maude, Vera, Sybil and Winifred - well at least not in the lists of popular UK girls' names that I have scrutinised.

Today's photograph shows an artwork by Cristina Lucas. Like the quotation above it draws its inspiration from Lewis Caroll's "Alice in Wonderland", more particularly the episode in which Alice eats the cake marked "eat me" with the result that she grows to the point where she can't fit in the room and puts her arm out of the window. The location of this piece is the former Carthusian monastery sometimes called La Cartuja, in Seville, a place where Christopher Columbus once lived. The monastery has an interesting history. After it ceased its religious function it was bought in 1839 by a Liverpudlian businessman, Charles Pickman, who set up a large tile-making works there. Some time after the business ceased producing tiles in 1984 it became a museum of contemporary art - hence Alice. The smaller photograph shows the archway in the main photograph from the outside of the building. Its current status relating to art explains the blue objects in the water and the stainless steel, cylindrical "bus shelter".

photograph and text © Tony Boughen

Photo Title: "Alice", La Cartuja, Seville
Camera: Olympus E-M10
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 20mm (40mm - 35mm equiv.)
F No: f8
Shutter Speed: 1/800 sec
Exposure Compensation: -0.3 EV
Image Stabilisation: On