I’m not sure where this paper doll process is going in an artistic context. It’s a bit like heading off for a walk with a lot on your mind, but no actual destination. Some of the thoughts that were in my mind at the time included:
• Children love dressing paper dolls. It’s fun.
• Men have been dressing women for centuries, shaping them into an art-form irresistibly pleasing to their eyes. I can see why.
• Women have also participated. Some Chinese women broke their own daughter’s feet and bound them until well into the 20th century. (How did they feel about that?) Modern woman sometimes chooses to totter on high heels (me too), making herself both physically and psychologically vulnerable.
• People have participated in a similar art-form breeding dogs (and other animals) for a particular look. Sometimes when breeding didn’t perfect the look, they trimmed off bits of the animal.
• Men and women have done the same thing with flowers and fruit trees. Sometimes we have lost some of the original flavours or genetic material altogether.
This may all sound very sombre and didactic. But really I was just playing around on the drawing board for a few minutes, and the thoughts going through my head fed into what I was doing.
I took some inspiration from Swiss fashion of the early 19th century and sketched a woman (very loosely) and began to dress her. Piece by piece.
It’s definitely fun. And as with all my hare-brained wanderings, it’s very messy.
Did she look better before or after she was clothed in bulky layers? She certainly looked different after the clothes were added.
Don’t we change ourselves so much, with what we wear?
My lines have made her doll-like. I’m not sure that was deliberate. I was still in continuous line-drawing mode, so this was a big part of it.
piece by piece she is decked out