Alice in Wonderland-themed exhibition unveiled at gallery

An art exhibition is celebrating 150 years since the release of Lewis Carroll’s famous novel Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

Members of Ocean Arts have unveiled their 3D creations at the Customs House in South Shields.

Martin Wray at the Alice in Wonderland themed exhibition created by Ocean Arts at the Customs House, South Shields.

Martin Wray at the Alice in Wonderland themed exhibition created by Ocean Arts at the Customs House, South Shields.

The group, for adults with learning disabilities, has put together the exhibition in the run up to this year’s Customs House pantomime, Alice in Wonderland.

The display, Be Open To The Impossible, is in the Fusion Gallery of the Mill Dam venue and is a teaser for a larger exhibition that will run from December to January, alongside the panto.

The exhibition is made up of a collection of 3D artworks, each depicting a quote from the famous book, which was partly written in Whitburn, and its characters such as Alice, the Cheshire Cat and Tweedledum and Tweedledee.

Martin Wray, managing director and founder of Ocean Arts, said: “The title of the exhibition is Be Open To The Impossible, so we wanted to achieve something impossible.

There is still a lot of negative perceptions about people with learning difficulties but this exhibition shows how talented our members are and what they can achieve.

Martin Wray, Ocean Arts

“We were given the photo frames by someone who was just going to throw them away and we weren’t sure what to do with them until we came up with this idea.

“We read the book to the group members and then they all picked a quote to make a picture for and I’m really excited with what they’ve achieved.

“The members have been along to see them on the wall in the gallery and they were all delighted.

“We’ve had lots of lovely comments about the work so far.”

Ocean Arts have created an Alice in Wonderland themed exhibition at the Customs House.

Ocean Arts have created an Alice in Wonderland themed exhibition at the Customs House.

He added: “We want to keep pushing the boundaries with what our members can achieve.

“There is still a lot of negative perceptions about people with learning difficulties, but this exhibition shows how talented our members are and what they can achieve.

“Our tutor Andrea McDougall worked with a few people at a time to design and make the pictures and she’s done a fantastic job.

“This isn’t our first exhibition at the Customs House but we’re very proud of what our members have achieved.

Ocean Arts have created an Alice in Wonderland themed exhibition at the Customs House.

Ocean Arts have created an Alice in Wonderland themed exhibition at the Customs House.

“I hope people come along to see it and come back in December to see our bigger exhibition.”

Esen Kaya, visual arts curator at the Customs House, said: “We’ve had a really great relationship with Ocean Arts for many years now and they’ve undertaken some really interesting projects and produced some amazing art work that we’ve been delighted to show in our gallery space.

“This is another fantastic project that they have created beautifully alongside the celebrations that are going on at the Customs House and throughout the borough.

“The work they’ve produced is of an extremely high quality and the members of Ocean Arts should be extremely proud of themselves. I’m looking forward to seeing their bigger exhibition at Christmas.”

Another group with Ocean Arts, which is based at the CustomSpace in South Shields, dubbed The Road Show is putting on a concert this week.

They’ll be performing a concert at Central Library in Prince Georg Square, South Shields, on Thursday from 1pm.

Ocean Arts have created an Alice in Wonderland themed exhibition at the Customs House.

Ocean Arts have created an Alice in Wonderland themed exhibition at the Customs House.

The group are celebrating popular music from the last 70 years.

They’ll also be visiting residential homes throughout the borough to perform for the elderly.

Entry to the gallery is free.

Alice in Wonderland runs at the venue from December 1 to January 9, next year. Tickets cost from £9. To book, go to www.customshouse.co.uk or call 0191 454 1234.