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Alice in Tokyo



Jenny Watson


1951 –

  • Details

    Place where the work was made
    Melbourne Victoria Australia
    Media category
    Mixed media painting
    Materials used
    oil, synthetic polymer paint, ink and horse hair on hessian
    224.0 x 174.0 cm stretcher
    Signature & date

    Signed and dated c.l. verso on stretcher, black fibre-tipped pen "JENNY WATSON 1984".

    Rudy Komon Memorial Fund 2012
    South Building, ground level, 20th-century galleries
    Accession number
    © Jenny Watson

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Jenny Watson

    Works in the collection


  • About

    '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.

  • Places

    Where the work was made


  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 4 exhibitions

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 6 publications

Other works by Jenny Watson

See all 32 works