Chronicling the development and influence of gothic literature since its inception 250 years ago, Terror and Wonder is a veritable feast of art, film, music, literature, animation and real life artefacts. The exhibition makes for an all encompassing experience – one which sucks you into the fantastic world of gothic horror and terrific wonder.
The exhibition begins with The Castle of Ontronto, written by Horace Walpole and stated to be the first example of Gothic literature. As you wander around, you will get an overview of how the genre has developed and the examples are vast – from Henry Fusilli to Mary shelly, William Blake, Willkie Collins, Edgar Allen Poe, Bram Stoker, Stanley Kubrick, Hitchcock and Clive Barker. For those who love this kind of thing, the exhibition is an opportunity to delve deep into the genre, there is even reference to historical events such as how the French revolution cranked up the blood and gore factor and the influence of the industrial revolution.
This is both a fascinating and nostalgic exhibition with most of the pieces being either notorious or referencing the classics (you can read letters written from a person claiming to be Jack the Ripper or even scan through Stanley Kubick’s annotated script from the Shinning). It’s this range and depth of material which makes the exhibition so immersive, entertaining and thoroughly enjoyable.
Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination is on now and runs to 20th January 2015
For more information go to: www.bl.uk/gothic
Watch the Terror and Window video below…