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Dollface 2019

Dollface was born out of the COVID-19 confinement. The long months gave me the time to bring out my inner child. It started on the day I made a clothespin fairy doll out of boredom. I took photos of her and that gave me the idea to create an actual rag doll. I spent hours and days making and altering her with only ideas from my mind and old clothes/scraps of fabric I had lying around. She evolved over 2 years and her costumes are all imperfectly made by me, first by hand, which was a long but often meditative process and then via machine. She is faceless because I wanted to eliminate facial expressions and leave her “thoughts and feelings” to the viewer’s interpretation. In addition, as a self-portrait photographer, I considered my own face expressive enough to exploit. However, while working with her and posing her in different ways, I began to see emotion; a sense of life within her.

During these past two years, I remembered my time spent in therapy and of psychology in general. “Doll therapy” is used for trauma, depression, abuse and even in patients with dementia.  I did not intend to create Dollface for any of these reasons, however the thought of creating a doll personae of me was appealing and as is with all of my photographic work – is inherently therapeutic; she became another means of self-expression. However, and more importantly, she did become a therapeutic doll for me. I hug her hard, stroke her hair and talk to her when I am afraid, sad, frustrated and even when I am happy. In fact, her name, Dollface, is what my maternal grandmother called me all my life until her death. Whenever I hear  it, I am reminded of her and all the love and comfort she gave me. It’s my objective that these photographs represent an important moment in time both on a historical level and on a personal one.


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