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By William Shaw
Typography & design by
Exhibition and installation
Publishing consultant Adrian Driscoll
In the Brighton Museum and Art Gallery, on the wall in the first gallery, is a Victorian painting by George Dunlop Leslie. It shows a mother reading a book to young girl with far-away eyes, A doll lies beside them on the patterned sofa. Royal Pavilion Buildings
Some days he’s so intense. He’s been boozing a lot and smoking a lot of weed.
Today is Thursday – his day off – and he didn’t want to waste it. Last year, after finishing his finals whole days could pass just watching daytime TV. But now he’s working at two jobs time is precious.
After two hours he finally feels like getting up. Today is the day he’s going to visit the Brighton Museum and Art Gallery. He’s been here three years and he’s still not been. It’s his plan.
After a cup of Mandarin and Ginseng, he walks in past the giant cat, and turns right. Instantly he’s entranced. On the left of the gallery, a painting of a girl in a blue dress catches his eye. She slumps sideways on the lap of her governess... or her mother, maybe? The woman is reading a book to her. The girl stares out of the picture.
He walks on around the room, conscious that the girl is still staring at him. So he goes back and stands in front of her.
The painting’s incredible. It’s called Alice In Wonderland, though she can’t be actually the Alice, can she? She seems to be looking intently at Alex. Or is she staring at the room around him? Are we the Wonderland she is thinking about behind those big eyes? Are we in the book her governess is reading? Is Alex himself being described in those pages? That would be weird, wouldn’t it? Or is the girl imagining everything herself?
He starts to giggle.
Later he walks around town, reluctant to break the mood by going home. In his head he’s replaying his favourite track of the moment, "Y.T.T.E (Yield To Total Elation)" by Matmos, a big smile on his face. It’s like he’s coming back to life after his finals year.
He’s wondering if he should start cutting back on the booze and the weed though.