The Lewis Carroll Society of North America, Mill Valley CA, nľ
cover, p 39, spring, 2004.
by Mark Burnstein
Brazilian artist Helena de Barros first became enamored
of Carroll's works when she was still a teenager, reading the excellent
Portuguese translation by Sebastião Uchoa Leite. Her first experiments
on illustrating Wonderland were made in 1992, and continue to this day,
with the truly dazzling results displayed at www.fotolog.net/helenbar/
<http://www.fotolog.net/helenbar/> . (Click on "more"
at the bottom of the left nav bar to see over a hundred Alice images.)
"I had made my dress a few months before for a friend's costume party,
and started to make some pictures during my free time, as I am a graphic
designer and work a lot with photomontage. Suddenly, it was turning into
almost the entire book. I try to be as close to the original text as I
can, reading it many times before starting to work. Carroll's text is
stuffed full of delightful images that are always in my mind; trying to
put it into graphic form is a great satisfaction. After conceiving the
images, I photograph myself as Alice using a digital camera with a tripod
and timer, and do all the image manipulation using Photoshop, spending
almost 30 hours working on each one, which are made in high resolution
for printing. The Mock Turtle and Gryphon image alone took me a month
and a half. I have been totally surprised by the public response: The
site has reached over 300,000 viewers, a number I could never have expected.
It has reached some local papers and magazines too; one of them, O Globo,
is one of the most important papers in the country and I was given a two-page
article in the computer science section. I am very proud of carrying Carroll's
work to so many people. A lot of them are surprised to know details from
the story, which here in Brazil is more well known through Disney's adaptation
than from the original text. Now, at the same time I am working to complete
illustrations for the whole story and am searching for sponsors to publish
it as a book with a simultaneous exhibition of large-format prints."
She was recently interviewed in the Brazilian magazine Vizoo 36 May/June
'04 under the title "Helenbar: Digital Alice in Webland." [X]