His wife Barbara is an avid reader despite her almost complete blindness. In 1956 she borrows a copy of Alice in Wonderland. Charles is thrilled by this extravagant story. In addition, in her fall, Alice believes that she is on her way to down under.
Charles immediately begins a series of scenes inspired by the adventures of Alice in Wonderland, as his friend Sidney Nolan was doing with the bushranger Ned Kelly. In the following year Arthur Boyd will take as theme the forbidden marriage of the half castes.
Blackman's Alice is a little girl with a haggard gaze and circled eyes, not even interested in the scale variations of furniture and objects. The morose rabbit is a witness to the action, to which it sometimes deigns to participate.
The four examples below were painted in tempera and oil on board in 1956.
The Game of Chess, 107 x 122 cm, was sold for AUD 1.8M including premium by Sotheby's Australia on November 23, 2016. Mad Hatter's tea party, 105 x 121 cm, was sold for AUD 1.9M including premium by the same auction house on November 21, 2017.
Alice on the table, 121 x 112 cm, is estimated AUD 1.5M for sale on April 10 in Sydney by Deutscher and Hackett, lot 9. A scene by night without the rabbit titled Dreaming Alice, 97 x 136 cm, is estimated AUD 1M for sale by Sotheby's Australia on April 9, lot 24, also in Sydney.
Alice on the table : SOLD for AUD 1.35M before fees
Dreaming Alice : unsold