An artist who has created award-winning pieces from her home studio in Kent has launched her latest exhibition promising an enchanted journey with magical beats and spells.
Alice Instone, from Stone near Ashford, has spent the past five years creating work for ‘A Visit to The Oracle’, an exhibition she designed to take visitors on a voyage of reflection.
It combines her latest artwork with some of her famous pieces from previous years such as The Book of Self-loathing – a collection of people’s negative thoughts.
The 48-year-old says she hopes people visiting The Oracle will feel cathartic and learn to be kinder to themselves.
She said: “I’m hoping everyone will enjoy themselves and feel better about themselves, but also see things they have never seen before like these weird monsters.
“During the pandemic, I found it so difficult to juggle everything so I started making collages and sculptures of monsters.
“I didn't know what the monsters were about at the time but now I realise the monsters were to do with my upbringing and my childhood, my time with my grandmother.
“Now these are going into the new show which is about our unconscious.
“When you visit you’re taken on this journey. As you come in there are these big heads in the window and you go into the Motherhouse.
“You can then write down your negative thoughts, feed them to the giant birds and they will get copied into the Book of Self-Loathing.
“There is this giant ferocious looking cat which is enormous and you can sit inside its head and be at one with your thoughts.
“One of my huge to-do lists works is there, it's six metres long with a decade's worth of to-do lists.
“It's about the passing of time, it is gold and glittery and shows how our lives pass with all the chores we are busy doing.”
There is also a mirrored Golden Cobweb Room with mobiles suspended from the ceiling.
They were created from melted-down trophies and tankards from sporting triumphs and birthdays to represent happy memories.
Visitors can light a candle in the room before ending the trip by playing a game with Alice’s brand new Grandmother’s Oracle Cards.
They can then write in the Book of Grandmothers which shares individual stories of people’s grandparents.
“The show is about showing people we all have things in common and that we are all on the same side and should be kind to each other,” explained Alice.
Alice became a full-time artist 20 years ago and focuses much of her work on shared behaviours.
She has also worked on solo projects with the British Houses of Parliament, the United Nations, the National Trust and Tate Modern to name a few.
Thousands of visitors contributed to-do lists to her 2016 Pram In The Hall installation.
In 2018 she created a magic art caravan to celebrate International Women’s Day for the United Nations. It was seen by tens of thousands of Londoners when it visited Tate Modern Bankside.
“I also did this thing called the Book of Self-loathing,” she explained.
“I wrote down every negative thought I was having, and on paper they looked so funny.
“It is really sad when you read everyone else's thoughts and you realise everyone gives off this successful shine but inside they have these dark thoughts.
“You hear what they're really saying to themselves and it makes you realise we need to be kinder to ourselves.”
Alice’s short film titled “Oracle”, which won Best Fantasy at the Cannes Film Festival, will also make its debut at the exhibition.
“It is only seven minutes long, but it is uplifting and sometimes makes you cry,” she explained.
“It has a Star Trek vibe and is a bit childlike showing this winged oracle character that hatches out of a giant moon going on a journey.”
Entry to the exhibition in London is free.
It is open now until December 17 in Unit 210 in Dirty Lane and runs from Thursday to Sunday.