Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Imaginary Worlds: Alice's Wonderland

Time and again the Atlanta Botanical Garden has outdone itself with a new, exciting, must-see special exhibition and this year's summer exhibition is no exception, other than it's absolutely exceptional! Imaginary Worlds: Alice's Wonderland is wondrous. It delights the imagination. It inspires awe. It is indeed a must-see!


Atlanta Botanical Garden | Imaginary Worlds: Alice's Wonderland (Photo: Travis Swann Taylor)
Atlanta Botanical Garden | Imaginary Worlds: Alice's Wonderland
(Photo: Travis Swann Taylor)

This exhibition is a rabbit hole you're happy to fall into and don't plan on coming out quickly. You get to immerse yourself in 16 installations of 38 individual sculptures, many themed after Alice in Wonderland

The "White Cat" sculpture is 27-feet tall!!! "Planted" in the Aquatic Pond, be sure to walk the perimeter so you can take in the full experience! At first I din't know what the black pole was holding up the Mad Hatter's hat, but once you're upon it you see that it's an umbrella handle. If you don't walk around the sculpture, you might miss the giant pocket watch and many of the other spectacular details. 


Atlanta Botanical Garden | Imaginary Worlds: Alice's Wonderland (Photo: Travis Swann Taylor)
Atlanta Botanical Garden | Imaginary Worlds: Alice's Wonderland
(Photo: Travis Swann Taylor)

As you explore Alice's Wonderland, you too will be smiling, not a Cheshire Cat's mischievous smile, but a smile of delight. 


Atlanta Botanical Garden | Imaginary Worlds: Alice's Wonderland (Photo: Travis Swann Taylor)
Atlanta Botanical Garden | Imaginary Worlds: Alice's Wonderland
(Photo: Travis Swann Taylor)

The giant chess board was a gigantic surprise! I've played chess since I was nine years old and it's my favorite game. That this one incorporates my favorite animal—horses—made this a double treat for me and for so many other Garden guests. It's the largest concentration of sculptures, one that you do not want to miss.


Atlanta Botanical Garden | Imaginary Worlds: Alice's Wonderland (Photo: Travis Swann Taylor)
Atlanta Botanical Garden | Imaginary Worlds: Alice's Wonderland
(Photo: Travis Swann Taylor)

A nod to the Red Queen, there are heart playing card centurions on the giant chess board! 


Atlanta Botanical Garden | Imaginary Worlds: Alice's Wonderland (Photo: Travis Swann Taylor)
Atlanta Botanical Garden | Imaginary Worlds: Alice's Wonderland
(Photo: Travis Swann Taylor)

If you've seen Imaginary Worlds before and wondered "How do they tend to the 'living' sculptures?", many of them are hand-watered. It's fun, and endearing, to see!

Speaking of "hydration", a favorite way to experience the Atlanta Botanical Garden is its spring and summer series on Thursday evenings, Cocktails in the Garden. #datenight

Enjoy a glass of wine, a cocktail, a beer, or the Garden's new beer, a collaboration with local Wild Heaven Beer, called "Garden Beer". It's fantastic and already super-popular with Garden guests! 


Atlanta Botanical Garden | Imaginary Worlds: Alice's Wonderland (Photo: Travis Swann Taylor)
Atlanta Botanical Garden | Imaginary Worlds: Alice's Wonderland
(Photo: Travis Swann Taylor)

Some of last year’s Imaginary Worlds: Once Upon a Time crowd-favorites are back, some donning coats of different plant palettes than before...and they're BEAUTIFUL! Be sure to get a garden map on your way in so that you do not miss any of them.


Atlanta Botanical Garden | Imaginary Worlds: Alice's Wonderland (Photo: Travis Swann Taylor)
Atlanta Botanical Garden | Imaginary Worlds: Alice's Wonderland
(Photo: Travis Swann Taylor)

Some of the returning sculptures from last years are in different locales, within the Garden, and at least one—Rumpelstiltskin—is now nodding at Atlanta Botanical Garden, Gainesville, a delightful and highly recommended experience!


Atlanta Botanical Garden | Imaginary Worlds: Alice's Wonderland (Photo: Travis Swann Taylor)
Atlanta Botanical Garden | Imaginary Worlds: Alice's Wonderland
(Photo: Travis Swann Taylor)

TIP: Remember to charge your phone before or on the way to the Garden. You WILL want to make photos...many, many photos of these enchanting sculptures! 

And while you're snapping photos to share on social media and to revisit later, be sure you're also in-the-moment. This is truly an exceptional experience, one I think you'll want to absorb in its entirety. 


Atlanta Botanical Garden | Imaginary Worlds: Alice's Wonderland (Photo: Travis Swann Taylor)
Atlanta Botanical Garden | Imaginary Worlds: Alice's Wonderland
(Photo: Travis Swann Taylor)

Keep an eye out for Alice herself! Like Rumpelstiltskin, she too is nodding. You'll find her in a bed of brightly colored mushrooms being watched over by the Cheshire Cat. Makes one wonder what that Cheshire Cat has been up to...


Atlanta Botanical Garden | Imaginary Worlds: Alice's Wonderland (Photo: Travis Swann Taylor)
Atlanta Botanical Garden | Imaginary Worlds: Alice's Wonderland
(Photo: Travis Swann Taylor)

Don't find yourself getting "curiouser and curiouser"...get yourself to the Atlanta Botanical Garden to see Imaginary Worlds: Alice's Wonderland now through Sunday, October 27.

1 comment:

Daniel Bryan said...

Most of the time I don’t make comments on websites, but I'd like to say that this article really forced me to do so. Really nice post!
cat sculpture