..............and Dreams of Dolls.
Doll: Akiyama Mahoko/image: Eyedia.
Dolls delight me. They're forever on my mind.
It's so insanely obvious, i do suppose, that i hardly need to even mention it.
But i wanted to make this post a sort of little dedication to all things dollish. My very favourite things.........................along with the rabbits:)
I have always been drawn towards them, for a variety of reasons, and i am aware that many of you, and countless people the world over have a similar passion for these curious little representations of human beings, or creatures, anomalies, and so on and so on.....
Dolls are such precious, beautiful things, and at the same time, strange. Some folks will tell you that dolls actually scare them, that there is something inherently 'creepy' about their lifeless yet perfect little eyes, hands, and mouths.
Especially the teeth.
I have never quite understood this, but i do accept that it is a common reaction, and that many do not share the same fascination as i do for what is obviously the most frequently used motif in my body of works - and quite as likely, one of the primary forces that drive it !
This image is one of the very first photo manipulations that i ever made using a dolly:
Tragically, it is such a tiny file size that i cannot imagine it making a decent print, but i am secretly fond of it, regardless. I was quite unused to using the techniques that are so like second nature to me nowadays.
As a child i was almost as fascinated by dolls as i am today, but in a wholly different way. I wasn't so much interested in them as playthings or pretend babies; i was more inclined to perceive them as something akin to little 'models' that i could manipulate, dress, invent stories around, naming them, exploring my own world through them...sometimes playful, sometimes not so!
I sometimes wonder if we still have a sort of magical connection to dolls, which might be termed 'primitive' in the sense that they are symbolic of the human figure, the human being, yet not quite human at all. I'm thinking now of certain essays or stories i have read (at some time or another) that make use of the idea of dolls as objects that we somehow imbue with life via imagination, or focus (or love, especially in the case of a child).
This is apparent when you recall certain stories and films that have used dolls in much the same way, particularly ghost stories and horror films, like those about the 'possessed' doll (don't mention chucky to me!) or worse, the ventriloquists dummy *shudder* !!!
See Dead of Night for the quintessential example.
But on the lighter side of the fence, we have examples such as the Tapestries story (mentioned in a previous post) which utilises a similar yet refreshingly wholesome theme. Instead of the doll leading a reign of terror, we have the doll revealing a reign of terror (caused by humans), that will eventually bring revelation, truth and acceptance to the young, female protagonist.
This could go on forever, so i will shut up:)
Doll: Akiyama Mahoko/image: Eyedia.
So what is it that intrigues us, that fascinates so many of us about dolls?
Well, my guess is that they allow us to express ourselves, encouraging the joys of imagination, make-believe, wonder. Aside from their obvious craftsmanship and beauty, they are so amazingly full of potential: we put something of ourselves into them, whether we are using them as works of art, sculpting them from scratch, writing about them, customising them, or simply collecting them.
In many ways, you might say that this is very much the same as what a child might do in play; exploring, inventing, acting-out, resolving, refining, and redesigning reality.
Perhaps those of us who love dolls have simply never lost the ability to play - or to explore our demons.
I have always thought this in relation to my art work. It is a continuation of my exploration of myself and the world around me. My toys are my tools and techniques, my flights of imagination are as powerful and convincing as those that engrossed me as a child.
These are some of the wonderful websites and artists that i have been mooching around over the past few days...
I love these with a passion!
Porcelain, china paint. 20cm tall (doll sculpture) by Shary Boyle.
How delightfully, elegantly twisted! You have to check out her other works for more amazing examples:)
And the awe inspiring doll sculpture of Rhonda Gushee:
The marionettes of Scott Radke:
And these. They leave me speechless....Noriko Okamura dolls
I want each and every one of them to come and live with us at the Artandghosts Circus!
Just imagine how perfect that would be.
But alas, i cannot work out if they are for sale or not. To anyone fluent in the language, please help me!!!!
And some more links to dolly delights:
. Mildred and her acorn friend by MarmeeCraft
. Torn and Tattered by garboodles
. Money Dolly Art Doll by TheDevilsWallpaper
I must go and attend to my work now, so i shall bid you goodnight and pleasant dreams:)
And a huge hug and kiss to my eternally angelic mother, who will most likely be mulling over this post in the morning:))