Thursday, March 19, 2020


(Above:  Quarantine. 12" x 12". Digital image printed on fabric with both hand and machine stitching.  Click on any image to enlarge.)

I don't remember playing with dolls as a child.  Two of my three younger sisters did, but two of us (the older two) played outside and rode bikes.  We did have paper dolls though.  I made all their new paper clothes ... but paper dolls just aren't the same as three dimensional infants.  Of course, I don't remember thinking dolls were creepy.  They just weren't for me ...

 (Above:  Quarantine, detail.)

... until walking into the doll room at the Museum of Childhood in Edinburgh, Scotland. That was back in May 2012.  All those staring glass eyes were DEFINITELY creepy.  I've never again looked at dolls with the ambivalence of my childhood.  Later, I used thirty-five images of those dolls to create a photo series called Talky Tina after the 1963 Twilight Zone episode in which a wind-up doll managed to kill the overbearing father played by Telly Savalas.  Still later, I altered fourteen of the photos into a series called Doll Stories

 (Above:  Photo of dolls on a table lot at Bill Mishoe's auction.)

Now, I can't help but to snap a few photos when there are old dolls on a table lot at Bill Mishoe's auction.  I don't bid on them.  I just take pictures ... like the one above. Just as COVID-19 was starting to make international headlines, I played around with this picture using various functions and filters on Photoshop.  There just seemed to be "something" about creepy dolls and a deadly virus that led to me ordering the resulting image from Spoonflower.  The way I added tiny red seed stitches was also a response to the pandemic.

(Above:  Quarantine, reverse.)

For me, these dolls just seem to exist in a parallel universe ... a place where the lifeless live, a place where microscopic particles can threaten the whole world, a place that is ... well ... creepy.

1 comment:

Ann Scott said...

Most dolls are incredibly creepy in my opinion! Your piece makes me feel uneasy in the pit of my stomach. I think your last sentence sums it up. Isn't Photoshop fun!