O.k…. Here’s where it starts getting a bit political.
I was asked to do a live “draw in” at the Kave Gallery last year. I’d put a lot of thought into every element of the composition of this particular piece as I knew it would be hard enough drawing in public, without having to come up with anything on the spur of the moment.
The hat of the mad hatter builds, over the course of the remaining illustrations, into a castle based on Neuschwanstien, one of the many fantasy buildings commissioned at country bankrupting expense by “Mad” King Ludwig the second of Bavaria. It is suspected, but never proved, that King Ludwig was murdered by his own subjects because of the damage to the economy caused by his obsessive building.
I was also curious as to where the Phrase “Mad as a March hare” actually came from and, after the obligatory checking of the search engine that shall not be named, it seems that the phrase is based in the mating rituals of hares that occur in March, where males “box” with each other to compete for access to females. So the hare became a boxing lover. The boxing part was easy, gloves and a hooded robe. As for a lover… It was at that point I remembered a detail from a book by J.T LeRoy, or rather the writer previously know as JT LeRoy. In which the Gigolos that roam the truck stops of America wear necklaces made from the Penis bone of a raccoon. So that’s the Hare sorted out… Well almost.
There is something very nasty going on in the U.K right now. Our unelected government needed a scapegoat to take the general public’s attention away from the shenanigans of our banking industry and of their tax dodging billionaire chums. Last time around it was single mums who got the bashing from the tories, this time it is the disabled. O.k I can feel that finger hovering over the mouse pad, Bored Now! It’s o.k there is always something on Facebook to divert your attention , I won’t blame you. next time my blog will be jollier so y’all come back soon….
You still here? Good! Now where were we?
So a scapegoat. It started off with something that new labour brought in, Employment Support Allowance, a well meaning attempt to prevent those capable of doing something from rotting at home. Sounds good in theory, providing that there is actually work for them and that they are well enough to do it. Unfortunately, by the time the flawed pilots were in place, the economy had fell through the floor, unemployment had skyrocketed and the Conservatives were back in charge. Soon followed by a slew of propaganda, filtered through the right wing papers, stories of workers versus shirkers, benefit fraudsters, scroungers. What isn’t reported are the huge rates of homelessness amongst the mentally ill, the suicides, the deaths of cancer suffers and people on life support machines judged fit for work.
Phrases achingly similar to “work will set you free” have become common amongst the Con Dems and the Department of Work and Pensions. Now what was that in German? I think I’ve seen that somewhere before…
Not willing to go down without a fight, a group of disabled activist in Scotland decided to reclaim the black triangle, the symbol that concentration camp inmates were forced to wear if they were, mentally disabled or mentally ill, homeless, alcoholic, prostitutes or work shy, in the same way that lesbian and gay activist reclaimed the pink triangle. So there we have it, the Hare’s Black triangle. It should hopefully be apparent now where the Door’s mouse’s striped pyjamas come into play too.
Now back to lighter details. The Doormouse’s hat is that of the Disney mousketeers. The house in the background is designed in such a way as to appear as a Hare at night, with ear chimneys, round window eyes and a buck tooth door. Also, if you look carefully in the trees in the top right you can just about see the Cheshire Cat lounging on a branch.
The table centrepiece is a large, decorative, teapot depicting visually a line from The Walrus and the Carpenter. With a crown on the lid and majolica like cabbage leaves around the bowl. There is also a truly terrible pun.