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Wonderland at ACMI

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by Em Phillips (subscribe)
Freelance writer, mum and lover of all things Melbourne :)
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World Premiere 'Alice in Wonderland' Exhibition
ACMI invites you to venture down the rabbit hole into an enchanted world, where expectations are upended and curiosity is rewarded. A world premiere as part of the Victorian Government's Melbourne Winter Masterpieces series, ACMI's newest creation Wonderland celebrates the screen history of Lewis Carroll's timeless stories: 'Alice's Adventures in Wonderland', 'Through the Looking Glass' and 'What Alice Found There' in an entirely original experiential exhibition.

Alice in Wonderland
Take a journey with Alice through Wonderland

Since first gracing the page in 1865, the quirky characters and captivating world of wonderland have inspired artists for generations and Carroll's tales have been the subject of more than 40 films and over 30 television programs.Wonderland take's audiences on Alice's journey through the evolution of film-making itself, from the earliest optical toys to silent film, animation, puppetry, live-action cinema, CGI, 3D and beyond. 'With Wonderland ACMI has created an interactive exhibition where audiences explore the magic of film craft and its integral role embedding this much-loved story in our imaginations for generations' ACMI CEO & Director Katrina Sedgwick.

Costumes at Wonderland at ACMI
Some of the glorious Mad Hatter and Alice costumes on display

The exhibition draws together a remarkable selection of original behind-the-scenes material and more than 300 unique objects sourced from around the world including first edition publications and illustrations, spectacular costumes, concept drawings and animation cells. It has taken the creative team at ACMI and a leading team of Australian collaborators over two years to put this wholly original exhibition together.

Mad Hatters Tea Party
A Mad Hatter's Tea Party like no other

Wonderland is an exhibition inspired by the wonder of Carroll's stories, based on the daring, inquisitive and fearless protagonist Alice in a world of puzzling madness and charming surprises. When you enter Wonderland you are entering a theatrical, immersive and interactive series of 'worlds within worlds, within worlds' that encourage you, whether adult or child, to be a curious and playful adventurer.

Playing cards in the queens garden
Design and create a playing card version of yourself and watch yourself running around painting the roses red

The journey begins in Lewis Carroll's drawing room, where you are handed your own 'Lost Map of Wonderland', a treasure map with a digital device for unlocking surprising experiences, that accompanies you in your journey through Wonderland and even follows you home. With interactive map in hand, you are free to wander wonderland, lose yourself in the hallway of doors, play in the Queen's croquet ground and take part in a magical Mad Hatter's Tea Party that comes to life before your very eyes.
Props from Alice in Wonderland
Explore some of the iconic props from movies past and present

During the exhibition there are a number of special events including the Wonderland Family Night on 19 May, low sensory exhibition visits for people with autism or sensory sensitivities, and a number of talks, masterclasses and other special events, check out the website for more information.
Alice in Wonderland
View the interpretations of Alice in Wonderland from the distant past to modern times

For over a century there has been an enduring fascination with Lewis Carroll's stories, interpreted and adapted across cultures and media, which have furnished this exhibition with a wealth and diversity of artwork and filmmaking history. It is the world they have created here though, and the escapism that it provides, that makes this exhibition truly worth a visit. As the Cheshire Cat says, 'Imagination is the only weapon against reality', the hidden charms and riddles within this space inspire you to be curiouser and curiouser, it will delight and surprise adults and children alike and have you leaving the exhibition feeling like it was all just a dream.

Visit Wonderland at ACMI from 5 April until 7 October. Tickets are $65 for a family, Child $16 and Adult $25. Entry is timed so book in advance to secure your spot.

Wonderland at ACMI
Wonderland at ACMI

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*Em Phillips was invited as a guest
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Why? Imagine a world where nothing is impossible
When: 10am - 5pm
Phone: 03 8663 2200
Where: ACMI, Federation Square
Cost: Full $25 Concession $21 Member $20 Child $16
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