Alice’s Adventures in Underground Culture

February 2nd – February 4th at The Horse Hospital, London.

Down the rabbit hole we went…and into the second exhibition by the Psychedelic Museum. Alice’s Adventures in Underground Culture brought together the fabulous art of John Coulthart, expertly printed onto blotter paper, and works from a number of other artists inspired by Lewis Carroll’s Alice.

This three-day exhibition opened with an evening event featuring a panel discussion on the links between 1960s psychedelic music and culture, and the persistent fascination of Carroll’s work. The limited size of the venue meant that only 90 tickets were available and these sold out weeks ahead of the show. This was a clear indication of the demand for events of this type. In Britain there are numerous scientific and social events related to psychedelics, but there is obviously a thirst for engaging, intellectual commentary and reflection on psychedelic arts and culture. We’ve taken note and will try to enable larger groups to attend in future as far as possible!

Alice’s Adventures… and the Psychedelic Museum also received some welcome publicity by being recommended by The List and Time Out (and the prestigious Psychedelic Press), as well getting positive mentions by many other listing sites.

The panel discussion, featured Andy Roberts, Jake Fior, Sophia Satchell-Baeza, and John Coulthart himself, ably facilitated by our own Nikki Wyrd. An hour of informed and erudite conversation held the attention of the audience, who asked some thoughtful questions in the half hour Q&A session. We talked of many things, including laudanum, migraines, feminism, pastoral idylls vs authoritarian society, bands (including The Beatles), mathematics, and cinematic representations of the Alice story.

Over 600 people visited the exhibition, which was very well received. Below are some pictures of the event for your enjoyment. If you attended and have images, video or audio you’d like to share please get in touch with us, via The opening panel discussion was recorded, and once our sound man has improved the quality, we will upload that too.

Many thanks to the team at The Horse Hospital, and to all those amazing people who gave freely of their time and enthusiasm, in order to make this exhibition happen.

Special thanks to the panel members:

  • John Coulthart – A World Fantasy Award-winning artist and designer, John’s first public illustration was for the Hawkwind album Church of Hawkwind in 1982. His illustration and design work has appeared on many book covers and album sleeves, while his comic art is collected in two books: The Haunter of the Dark, a volume of HP Lovecraft adaptations which features a collaboration with Alan Moore, and Lord Horror: Reverbstorm, a graphic novel created with writer David Britton.
  • Andy Roberts – Andy is an historian of British psychedelic counterculture and LSD. Musically, he has been severely influenced and affected by the Grateful Dead, the Incredible String Band and Dr Strangely Strange among a host of others. He first fell down the rabbit hole in 1972 and has been exploring the labyrinth of passages ever since. He has written, co-written or contributed to fifteen books on subjects as diverse as cryptozoology, UFOs, folklore survivals, government files on the anomalous, and psychedelic drugs.
  • Sophia Satchell-Baeza – Sophia is an AHRC PhD candidate in the film studies department at King’s College, London. Her thesis on British psychedelic films and light shows in the “long 1960s” analyses the ways in which psychedelia gets taken up and discussed across avant-garde and more mainstream contexts. She has written on film, psychedelia and visual culture for magazines and journals including Sight & Sound, Wonderland, Shindig! and i-D.
  • Jake Fior – Co-founder of the ‘Alice Through the Looking Glass’ shop.

Next up…

Museum director Rob Dickins (of Psychedelic Press UK fame) has started the ball rolling for another exhibition in London. This is being tentatively timetabled for May. Stay tuned to this channel and our Facebook page for more information as details are confirmed!


Artists on display in Alice’s Adventures in Underground Culture

John Coulthart

Mark Bloomfield

Christiaan Nagel

‘Civilized Punk

Paolo Fiorentini

Alexander Korzer-Robinson

Greg Lindsay-Smith