Chasing Amy

Ohio artist Amy Kollar Anderson has produced a delightful series of paintings she calls “Wasp in a Wig.”

“Since I was young, I have loved the imagery found in fairy tales and enjoyed making up my own stories. Now I narrate with paint, creating character interactions combined with symbols and metaphors, and then adorned with layers of patterns, bold colors, and sometimes glitter. My stories are inspired by the surreal world of dreams, but embrace science and nature to create visions that refer to our world, but defy our known restraints. This is something Lewis Carroll and I have in common, our love of imaginative, and often absurd, storytelling. For this series, I combined elements from both of Lewis Carroll’s Alice books with new characters, and other personal references, to envision scenarios that explore environmental issues, social structures and identity.

“The title for this series is referring to the chapter written by Carroll called, ‘A Wasp in a Wig,’ which was omitted after the illustrator, John Tenniel, explained he could not see his way to a picture and it was an opportunity to condense the story. That wasp, as well as the other iconic Wonderland characters, symbols and metaphors, became the starting point for curious images that expand on the stories found in Wonderland, yet did not make it into the final manuscript.

“In this series, Alice is no longer an innocent child, but rather several grown women. In these multiple forms, Alice plays the role of female archetype, bringing with her the attributes imbued by Carroll, but modernized to represent various facets of the contemporary woman. Her form is a tribute to Tenniel, who drew her proportions with a larger head and smaller legs.

“The Cheshire Cat is the observer, the scientist, and the only character that truly spoke to Alice and explained how Wonderland works. He educates while battling against superstition and nonsense.”

You can visit the paintings here.