(Australia 1951– )
224.0 x 174.0cm stretcher
'Alice in Tokyo' recalls the feeling of landing in a foreign country coupled with the realisation that you are very far from home. This large, mixed media oil painting was made when the artist visited Japan for the first time. It depicts the recognisable character ‘Alice in Wonderland’, who, upon falling down the rabbit hole realises her body and her perceived sense of scale is larger than her seemingly miniature surroundings. The subject was a response to a specific episode when Watson found herself in a café and completely out of scale with the furniture around her.
Adding to this feeling of alienation and a desire for the familiar, or a more deeply rooted context, a short inscription across the painting's foreground reads: ‘Hair was used because it is a personal and powerful symbol of life’. This expressive appeal for a personal connection underscores much of Jenny Watson’s work, both conceptually and when considering her use of artistic materials.
This work was exhibited at the Sixth Trienniale of India, New Dehli, 1986, where Watson represented Australia and was awarded a gold medal.
Chris McAuliffe (Australia, b.1960) (Author), Jenny Watson: here, there and everywhere, Melbourne, Jan 2012, 24, 26 (colour illus.). cat.no. 18
Donald Williams (Australia) (Author), Colin Simpson (Australia, b.1960) (Author), Art now: Contemporary art post - 1970, Australia, 1994, 76, 77 (colour illus.).
Lalit Kala Gallery (India) (Editor), Sixth Triennale-India 1986, New Dehli, 1986, iii (colour illus.), 1, 2 (illus.), 3. cat.no. 20
Jenny Watson: here, there and everywhere, The Ian Potter Museum of Art, 18 Jan 2012–08 Apr 2012.