Alice slipped down the rabbit hole and after all that hoo-haa with the key and the shrinking and all that, she finally arrived (guided by The White Rabbit of real estate with the watch) at the Madhatter’s Tea Party. But in this story, when Alice arrives, all the guests have disappeared.
‘Oh my, whatever could this mean Rabbit dear? I thought there would be lots of fun interesting people and laughter, and well, a kind of community spirit’. Alice looked about ready to cry. ‘Dear Alice,’ said Rabbit soothingly, ‘Why it’s obvious indeed! The evil Queen and her property developers saw how much fun everyone was having, and how good it was to be here…and well, to be quite frank with you, decided she could make some money out of that, but she has no use for the Madhatter and his kind anymore. So…’ he shrugged, ‘…she made it too expensive for them to stay.’ ‘But without the Madhatter and his crew, there will be nothing to do! Wonderland will become dull and lifeless again, just like everywhere else. It will be filled with the Queen’s cronies who poison our creative spirit and hide behind their curtains. And all those people who can afford not to care’. ‘There, there Alice. Come along now, let it be. Let’s just push it under the rug.’ ‘No!’ said Alice, who was visibly teary now. ‘The Madhatter was here first! HIS people made Wonderland the place to be, it used to be a wasteland before they moved in. They made it feel like home. The Queen’s people are selfish and they think that creativity is….art is…a waste of time!’Alice was struggling to get the words out.
Rabbit became a bit flustered, he couldn’t understand the fuss she was making and it was rather a nuisance. He looked at his watch and sighed impatiently, scratching behind his ears. ‘Alice, pull yourself together. It’s no use. I’m afraid you’ll just have to get used to it. This is the way it is, and there isn’t anything we can do for them now. Just forget about this little issue of yours and enjoy the party. The Queen will be here soon’. Alice stopped crying and her mouth dropped open in disbelief at what she was hearing. Rabbit had lost the plot. She desperately wanted to help the Madhatter, but didn’t know what to do or who to turn to. The Queen was a very powerful woman, who very much liked to get her own way. Who would help so that the Madhatter could stay? Rabbit was tugging at her sleeve ‘Come along Alice, this way…’ She pulled herself free from his clammy paws and began to walk towards Outerland, she felt suffocated here. ‘No…no. No Rabbit dear…I have to find a way. WE have to find a way. We can’t let the Queen destroy Wonderland’s creative communities. Are you with me, or not?’
In reference to our ‘dear friends’ Fraser Studios and their soon-to-be disposal of the artist studios, Central ark development, Chippendale.
Artist Colony Enters its death throes, Elva Darnell, CNN International, 28th March 2011. http://www.cnngo.com/sydney/life/queens-st-studio-frasers-973164#ixzz1TkC9PsqS
Thank you for the temporary ‘gift’ – for who is anyone to look a gift-horse in the mouth? But don’t you think our creative communities deserve a place in the world they built? And hell, it’s not like you can’t afford it.