Tea with Alice in Wonderland
Renowned Sculptor Bridgette Mongeon has unveiled a magnificent bronze-casting recreating the famed “tea party” scene from Alice in Wonderland. Situated in Evelyn’s Park in Bellaire, TX, Bridgette was commissioned to create this sculpture as a tribute to Evelyn Rubenstein by her sons.
In addition to being a visual masterpiece, the sculpture, titled “Move One Place On,” is interactive – with up to 8 visitors able to sit and join in the tea party with Alice and friends.
There are also a total of 150 hidden elements from the book incorporated into the sculpture, such as miniature mice and other items, making interaction with the sculpture even more dynamic. The 150 things are in recognition of the 150th anniversary of the famous book by Lewis Carroll. Bridgette plans to begin revealing these 150 hidden items through social media, and the links may be found at: http://alicesculpture.com.
The sculpture was produced using a variety of modern and traditional techniques, from clay sculpting to computer numerically controlled milling, 3-D sculpting, scanning, and printing, to the final bronze casting. DUNA-USA donated R-40 CORAFOAM® Prop Foam used by Bridgette for carving full-scale mock-ups. Once the artist completed the sculpting, she sent it to the foundry for bronze casting.
According to Bridgette, “The R-40 Prop Foam is a sculptors dream material. It is strong enough to hold up when creating large structures but also carves like butter. Each of the main characters along with Alice’s chair was milled out of urethane foam and sent to my studio. Further carving is necessary before we cover the foam in clay and add detail. R-40 Prop Foam was great to create the dining experience I envisioned. Many people look at the table base and ask if I found a piece of wood and had it bronzed. No, I say, I carved it in foam and then we embedded 60 of the 150 hidden things in the table base before I had it cast in bronze. R-40 Prop Foam was inspirational in creating the best dining experience in Texas.”
The massive sculpture was a multi-year project and was conducted by a team of interns in addition to Bridgette herself. “The Alice in Wonderland project was such a great experience because I had a lot of creative freedom to put my own touch on it and truly explore creativity and technology during the process. As a sculptor specializing in commissioned work, it is not often I am able to take creative liberties as with this project,” recalls Mongeon. “I’m also delighted that it has become an education tool in STEAM education.
STEAM is an educational initiative exploring the interactive disciplines of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math,” Mongeon was the keynote speaker at the Texas Art Educations Conference on STEAM in the classroom, studio, and Wonderland. She enjoys educating others and is beginning to offer free educational resources at the Alice Sculpture website.
Bridgette Mongeon is a self-taught sculptor and has been creating commissioned art for over 30 years. Her previous works include the famous tiger sculpture at Grambling State University in Louisana, the Prairie View Panther in Texas, and other creations ranging from life-size sculptures to portrait busts and figurines. She is also the author of “3D Technology in Fine Art and Craft: Exploring 3D Printing, Scanning, Sculpting, and Milling.”
You may see additional information about her at: http://www.creativesculpture.com.