I found the dolls particularly interesting because of what they represent to different people. Dolls have existed throughout civilization, being fashioned out of varying materials. Dolls are mostly children’s toys although people from different ages have an interest in them for their different values. Dolls are toys that represent humans. In my paintings I have given them human expressions and attributed human things to them (placing them with skulls/giving them subtle expressions).
Dolls are children’s toys, representing other babies. Most dolls are of newborn babies, being marketed towards children between the ages of 2 to 9 years old. Sometimes dolls are replacement siblings, playthings for lonely children. In some of the paintings the dolls are alone against a black background, seeming somewhat vulnerable. Do dolls get lonely when their owners abandon them? At some point dolls are abandoned by their owners when they reach a certain point of maturity. One of the dolls I found was in a crib being put out as hard rubbish, its expiry date long passed.
Dolls are also manipulative objects, they move, some even drink liquids (some can process it further), but all children’s dolls are meant for play, they are meant to be cherished. They sit diligently at tea parties, play games and listen in. Dolls are like imaginary friends, except less imagined and more sinister (at least from some perspectives).
What is the relationship between the objects in the paintings?
Some of the doll paintings feature multiple dolls, and dolls with other objects. A number of the paintings included skulls. The juxtaposition of a doll and a skull was interesting to me. Skulls represent death, the end of life, mortality, and dolls are non-living, but have living characteristics. The painting I named the overcoming of death was a literal interpretation of that. A skull leans over a doll which is reclined, head back. At some point dolls do die, because they cease to be living to their owners.