Entries in dolls (13)
Softly. Walking with you, a hundred years ago. Afternoon sun, the hay wagon driving us home. Swinging our legs, dust in your eyes. Heat haze and cool streams. An insect symphony. Blackbirds, frog spawn, picking up sticks. Daydream. Butterflies with milky wings. A sun child and a sun king. Walking. With you. Over the stone bridge and back again. Long socks, long ago, a faded shirt. Heart of the sun. Forever. Walking. With you.
Tidal, absolute. Wake into a dream where the forest opens out onto the ocean. You stand at the edge of the cliff alongside your sister, your mother. All of you staring out to sea, all eyes on the horizon. You have seen what lies ahead, beyond your time. You are deeply loved. All three of you smile. And then you walk away, back towards the forest, alone. You lie down on your belly in the long grass, crying softly for everything that has been and everything that ever will be. Faith, loss, renewal. And the universe has taken you to its heart. You will never be alone again.
Labyrinthine. These rooms, opening onto new passageways, leading to other rooms. Each one with whitewashed walls, filled with your grandparents antique furniture - those Hummel dolls, the white porcelain lady with her white haired dog, and the curious crystal pyramid. Everything's here, everything you once knew. Your brothers never got old, your playmates' laughter resounds behind closed doors. But you can't see them. Where are they? There's a room at the end of this corridor with dark velvet curtains instead of a door. You have to enter this room because it might mean the end of the world. So you push back the drapes and enter, cautiously, trying not to let your feet make a sound. Once inside the room you are surprised to discover your playmates at last. They are no longer laughing, if ever they were. There is no furniture in this room, only a collection of white metalwork cages, the sort of cages in which people might keep little birds, suspended from the ceiling by chains wrapped with a decorative trellis of make-believe vines. Each of your playmates sits within her own ornate little cage, pale faced, knees pressed together, knuckles clenched. Their mournful eyes follow you as you navigate the room, but nobody speaks. Not a sound. You wonder what could have happened to them, but are afraid to ask.
I found a dead sparrow here, beneath this tree, so I buried it. That same night I dreamed the sparrow sleeping beside me, thrusting its bony wing into my ribs. The next day, returning to the tree, I spied three little boys poking around the burial mound with sticks. Leave it alone, I said. The boys pretended not to hear me. Leave it alone, I said. The boys laughed, kicking up the earth. And then I began to feel funny, like a wind was blowing through my head. My sides hurt, and my fingers and toes felt numb. It felt as though my bones were stretching, cracking, there were too many colours, so many sounds...When suddenly all about me was light, wind and leaves. I was way up above them in the arms of my tree, feathered and weightless and free. I'm a bird, I cried, i'm a ghost in this tree! The three little boys had dropped their sticks and fled in terror. Come back, I cried. Oh please come back and play with me!
And then I woke up.
New work for the Dreamchord Luxe series.
For the solstice.
I usually share my influences and inspiration posts over at my Tumblr blog, but I felt that this collection of images might be more fitting here, considering their particular importance to myself as a creator of scenes depicting strange, doll-like children. When I first ever used the internet, Japanese/Korean doll art appeared before me like a sort of miracle, a visual revelation: I could never have previously imagined that such beautiful and (occasionally) disturbing works even existed. It was as if so many of my dreams and ideas over the years had materialised before me, those peculiar scenes which had previously only entered my mind when considering short stories I might never write, or figures that I did not have the talent to sculpt. Prior to using the internet, I would create endless paper and paint collages which hinted at such things, yet the characters which came to later populate my portfolio could ony ever have come to 'life' after having witnessed these wonderful works. It was as if a missing jigsaw piece had fallen into place. I began collecting the images, storing them in small folders as a source of inspiration. I drew from them, studied them, copied them, and adored them. They came to symbolize a kind of doorway into my most lucid dreams, my forgotten memories (I suffered amnesia as a child), my nightmares, this fierce desire to create. They became a catalyst, a muse, an adored passion. Eventually, I began to move away from the dolls themselves as a direct source, having developed my own particular 'style' or 'repertoire', I no longer needed them as a guide, but almost everything that I create today contains this original motivation, this seed of an idea, and the debt which I owe to these artists is really quite immense.
Here are a selection of my current favourite works by Emi Kobayashi, Akiyama Mahoko & Yuriko Yamayoshi. Please click the images for the source.
I haven't really been in the mood for creating anything new recently (commission work swallowed me whole); just a couple of weird, directionless drawings and a darkly photomontage (The Red Cloaks: which must have been inspired by the wonderful Lucy Reynolds). The Blythe beauty is Miss Mildred Moog, she's incredibly photogenic.
And...a little earlier in the day than planned, but I may not be home this evening - The winner of the TippyTan enlargement print is Keri-Anne! Thank you, as always for taking part.
Ps: and if my blog design seems a little hotchpotch right now, it's becauses I am playing with the template. I just can't stop myself..
Georgie, my rabbit doll (pipos).
I have been meaning to work with georgie for so long now, he has been in hiding since late 2008.
Georgie is one of my few remaining ball jointed dolls. And such a charming model, I have no idea why I always seem to forget about him. He's really quite fond of the camera.
Photomontage with doll.
She was a Secretdoll Momo, from around late 2008. Her name, Charlotte Cherry. For some reason, she posessed such an incredibly soft spot for my kitty, Mirlo, although he wasn't altogether taken with her, poor thing.
My lovely friend Marinkel wrote some of the little accompaniments to each piece, for a series which I entitled "Secret Girls'. I thought it would be nice to include some samples here: they were supposed to pertain to a particular image, but I haven't had time to compile them all accordingly, so the following are just a mish mash of sections which I pulled from the series:
I shall probably set to work creating a little gallery for these quite soon.
My old dolls. Celestial child souls. Winged and ethereal. Long lost friends return.
Lily and Little Apparition are actually much older works, possibly as far back as 2006 (when I first began to sell prints of my art work online). I have entirely remade them here, at a much higher resolution. The dolls and dollshouse featured are no longer with me, but it's nice to be able to keep working with them still :]
I haven't decided whether to place these new works in the Specters and Dreams gallery, or else create a new one for them. I am still thinking of compilling a series titled 'The Poltergeist Rooms,' although 'Celestial Chidren' might have to become a project in itself. We shall see!
Some old favourites.
The Orchard Twins always struck me as if they had just rolled up their sleeves in preparation for a fight. With each other of course. The pear quite possibly took a bite out of the apples head. That's my theory anyway!