Since our excursion to the House of Dreams, we have been working with Stephen Wright to create our own art work and doll. Stephen was our visiting tutor through out this whole project and I really enjoyed his work process and guidance. I hugely appreciated the time that he managed to give to us, and he taught me some valuable lessons in finding out about myself through my work.
The doll we had to produce with Stephen could be of any size, but had to be inspired from 20 personal or found objects. I decided to choose nostalgic pieces from my childhood, an old doll, a barbie, some figurines, soft toys and badges. I spent a week drawing from these, creating some large scale oil pastel drawings which could influence my doll. In the end, I gravitated towards my doll and my animal figurines the most so decided to mix the two together. This painting is what I based my first doll on. I wanted the body to be three dimensional, with ‘barbie’ like arms and legs. I used a thick calico to create the doll, which I re-worked and dirtied with oil pastels. The second doll, was inspired by my a rabbit soft toy I got as a child. I wanted his body to be flatter and skinnier, which I think creates a nice contrast between the two dolls. I used recycled buttons to attach the limbs of the monkey doll. I think it makes it look as though someone has tried to fix him.
Visiting my grandparents house as a child was spooky at times. I remember staring at the large somber paintings in their living room and wondering why they had chosen such melancholic art. A few years later and here I am finding myself fascinated by artists such as Cecille perra and Michel Nedjar. A sudden attraction towards dark and mysterious art which I did not anticipate. When I look at these artist’s work, it’s as though their dolls have a long sad life story to tell, a reason behind their rugged and creepy looks. I find that particularly interesting, and it is something I tried to evoke in my dolls. Drawing from my “beautiful and perfect’’ childhood doll, I wanted to break her down, and highlight human imperfection. Giving the thin curvy body an animal face, was my way of representing ourselves in our true nature.
I really enjoyed this project, as it was a refreshing change from embroidery. The fast pace was great and I was able to go back to basic painting and have my creativity drive me. I will definitely try and do some more paintings in my later projects.