Twenty-six magical images gleaned from almost two hundred wood engravings made by George A. Walker for extremely rare editions of Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass (And What Alice Found There) published by Cheshire Cat Press in 1988 and 1998, respectively.
George A. Walker (Canadian, b. 1960) is an award-winning wood engraver, book artist, teacher, author and illustrator who has been creating artwork and books, and publishing at his private press since 1984. Walker's popular courses in book arts and printmaking at the Ontario College of Art and Design in Toronto, where he is Associate Professor, have been offered continuously since 1985. For over twenty years Walker has exhibited his wood engravings and limited edition books internationally, often in association with The Loving Society of Letterpress (and The Binders of Infinite Love) and the Canadian Bookbinders and Book Artists Guild ( C B B A G ). Among many other book projects, Walker has also illustrated two hand-printed books written by the British author Neil Gaiman. Walker is the illustrator of the first Canadian edition of Lewis Carroll's Alice In Wonderland and Alice Through the Looking Glass books (Cheshire Cat Press). George A. Walker was elected to the Royal Canadian Academy of Art for his contribution to the cultural area of Book Arts.
'Alice in Wonderland has inspired the imaginations of generations of readers, writers, and artists the world over. In A Is for Alice, the visceral merriment and eccentricity at play in Lewis Carroll's original masterwork shine brightly. Via twenty-six of his intricate wood engravings on the subject (which number close to an amazing two hundred), expert bookmaker and printer George A. Walker offers a glimpse of some of the most memorable moments and characters of Wonderland fame.
'The book's release is a mere three months before the highly anticipated blockbuster Return to Wonderland; while this may be fortuitous timing, A Is for Alice is strikingly different from Tim Burton's prismatic feature. Walker's Wonderland is captured in bold slashes -- stark, physical renderings of movement and emotion in solid wood. Each image offered here provides evidence of its creation; there is a reminder, with each turn of the page, of the hand and thought that guided each groove. Walker's ability to impress such great detail (as in the grain of both the fur of the Cheshire Cat, and the branch upon which he is perched) in a print made with woodblocks is remarkable, and is a testament to the quarter-century Walker has dedicated to creating books.
'The author's careful selection of passages and images encourages readers to take as little or as much time with the text as they wish. The woodcut images themselves provide plenty to ponder (feeling at times to be actual snapshots of the fantastic and bizarre heroine's journey) and the alphabetical layout offers similarly brief, yet telling, almost anecdotal-feeling narrative. Carroll's charm is ever-present in Walker's playful choices for the letter's representatives, ranging from the understated 'C is for Caterpillar' to the 'U is for the Jack (Knave) Under Arrest.' Wonderland is nothing if not a realm of wordplay, and Walker successfully continues the game.
'At the heart of this book is the art of the book, pages kissed by poetic samples of Carroll's writing and bound using artisan techniques onsite at The Porcupine's Quill headquarters. It is a high-quality, collectable edition in which fans of the Alice stories, bibliophiles, and young readers will delight.'
'Walker is an artist of many talents and media -- and many contradictions. A figurative artist, he is interested in illuminating abstractions cast up from his unconscious. Literate and articulate, he expresses complex thoughts and ideas in singular images. He published a book without text, letting the images carry the narrative. A generous nature can give way suddenly to a disquisition on social inequality that he also translates into the grammar of picture making. There is a startling muteness and directness to his pictures, yet they are intended to effect change, often in the immediate world around him, or in the viewer's perceptions of the world around them. The technical dimension of his artistic practice is privileged and apparent in the work, yet the art far exceeds material, method and process. His art is often grounded in the process of automatism, allowing for the unconscious to speak directly and spontaneously in images, even as his technique embraces the painstaking and precise nomenclature of wood engraving, block printing and bookbinding. The immediacy of his messages and their meanings are the product of careful rendering, circumspection and consideration.'
'... a treat for fans of the tale and poetry alike, highly recommended.'