It’s a Wonderland at the Towner gallery

Ravilious, The Tortoise in the Kitchen Garden, 1938
Ravilious, The Tortoise in the Kitchen Garden, 1938

Wonderland, a new exhibition, has opened at the Towner art gallery this week.

Inspired by Chirahu Shiota’s exhibition, this display draws on works in the collection that explore themes of space and architecture. Many of the pieces contain elements of surprise or subversion within them and visitors can explore the way in which people try to control and simplify natural and physical environments.

The display includes Ceal Floyer’s Door, 1995, Derek Boshier’s Vista City, 1964, Test of Courage, 2000 by Rut Blees Luxemburg and works from Julian Opie who previously designed the famous Blur album cover.

Councillor Carolyn Heaps said, “The new exhibition is fascinating, incorporating a great selection of works and artists. It also links in very well with Chiharu Shiota’s exhibition and I encourage all to visit this winter.”

The exhibition welcomes visitors firstly to a large scale, delicate and fragile plaster greenhouse piece by Daphne Wright, showing beautifully carved patterns and stunning shadows. It is a sculptural installation which transposes inside and outside and turns an ordinary everyday garden structure into something beautiful.

Also in the first room, visitors are also welcomed by two new acquisitions to the collection by the artist Peter Liversidge. These giant winter drawings are simple but large scale, bare-branched trees, painstakingly made out of cut black tape.

The show includes abstract works as well, by artists including Langlands and Bell, Michael Challenger, Derek Boshier, Gillian Wise and Ian Mckeever who use a more minimal, harder edged, geometric style to allude to or represent architectural elements and structures. In the final room perspective is challenged and subverted by the artists Elizabeth Magill, Rut Blees Luxembourg and Rachel Whiteread. These works draw attention to the overlooked and their unusual sense of scale causes visitors to question what it is we are really looking at.

The exhibition runs until January 26 and is free. For more information go to