2020-2021 Wonderland

Cube of Wonder

Jennifer Ellis

Artist Statement

As a child, Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, captured both my heart and imagination. I was intrigued by the way he combined elements of fantasy, logic, and nonsense. I always had a big imagination and his stories gave me a space to feel safe and okay with who I am and my type of thinking.

My team entered the Wonderland Awards competition with a piece called the Cube of Wonder. The Cube of Wonder is a “Carollian-type” activity cube that combines Carroll’s logic, games, puzzles, and the story of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. On the top side of the cube, a child is introduced to Zeno’s Paradox of Achilles and the Tortoise. We created a sensory touch experience for a child to find their way through a maze. We did so in a symbolic way of depicting Achilles versus the Tortoise similar to Alice chasing the Rabbit.

We designed one of the sides of the cube to provide a child the opportunity to create word doublets through the movement of rotating letter blocks. A third side of the cube depicts Alice falling down the Rabbit’s hole. This piece reflects Carroll's popular time puzzle where the answer is revealed through a reflection of the clock in a mirror.  One of our favorite sides of the cube is the magnetic wall. Carroll was known for creating a puzzle game based on moving circles to create certain geometric patterns. This activity was based on the chapter of the story about the Hatter’s Tea Party.

I spent my lunch hours in awe examining the G. Edward Cassady, M.D., and Margaret Elizabeth Cassady, R.N., Lewis Carroll Collection.  It literally swept me down a "rabbit hole" of adventure and happiness! It was in this space where my creative process began and where the Cube of Wonder was born. As the team leader of this piece, I thought of ways we could help extend children's curiosity to wonder and to be introduced to logic. We built this piece to cultivate an active mind and to encourage children to explore the wonder in them.


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