Leaving behind the mundane and the everyday, this captivating new exhibition explores a world of magic, mystery and fairytales. Enchanted Worlds offers the opportunity to see artworks from the Harris' own collection alongside work from other major collections such as the Tate and the V&A. Delve into tales of fantastical worlds and discover some very strange creatures indeed.
Capturing the imagination of adults and children alike, with artworks dating from the 1780s to the contemporary, Enchanted Worlds provides an eclectic visual treat. You’ll find painting, sculpture, photography, film, animation, puppetry, print and illustration from some of the world's most revered artists of the genre.
The exhibition looks at the fairy phenomenon in British art from the early influence of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night’s Dream, to the popularisation of fairy stories throughout the nineteenth and twentieth century. Other highlights include art work inspired by the classic fairytales Hansel and Gretel, Little Red Riding Hood, Rumpelstiltskin, Beauty and the Beast and The Little Mermaid.
Whilst much of the work is strikingly beautiful, there is more than simple whimsy at play; the art you will find here is layered with cautionary tales and dark humour. You'll encounter fairies and mermaids, alongside wolves, witches and beasts...some characters are cute, some are far more fiendish!
Amongst the featured artists are Richard Dadd, Jean Cocteau, Lotte Reininger, David Hockney, Quentin Blake, Paula Rego, Jan Pienkowski, William Heath Robinson and Mabel Lucie Attwell. You can also examine the enigmatic Cottingley Fairy photographs up close and decide for yourself whether they are real or not.
There's also a not-to-be-missed opportunity to see a display of some of the most beautiful illustrated fairy tales from The Spencer Collection of Early Children’s Books of the Harris Libraries Special Collections. Amongst the rare first-editions are volumes illustrated by famous artists of the genre such as Arthur Rackham, Edmund Dulac and Mervyn Peake.