Friday, April 4, 2008

Doll Stories from Doll Neighbors

Elisha: I feel like (my doll) is a garden. We live in urban New York, so we don’t have a garden outside our house, but one day, hopefully . . . I think everyone deserves to be able to reconnect with nature.

Hilary: I think it has a personality, in a sense, like if you make art work you’re kind of emotionally tied to it, but when you have a kind of identity with your artwork, that a doll represents, then you kind of feel even more tied to it.

Ibou: It’s like there’s something you’re hiding, that people don’t want to see. To me it’s just like how people are, how human beings are. We’re just like vessels, and we’re strapped with something. But deep down, our inside, there’s something invisible. I can see that we’re strapped with a lot of things that are not seen, because we’re living in a world in which we’re hiding a lot of things. There’s no transparency. We never tell the truth. In my native language, which is Wolof, we call it nit. Nit is something like, you have to look very close, you have to observe, to see, who that person is. Here, this is transparent. But you don’t see the transparency because I’m hiding it. People are hiding our personalities, not showing who we are, and not telling what we do.

Julia-Petra: (My dolls are lonely)…because I’ve had many conversations with people about loneliness, and people who feel like there’s no way out of a broken heart, and that it’s the end of the world, and that nothing else will happen for them. I like to think of Camille and Luci as a bit of a shoulder for people who feel like there’s no end in site. There’s always hope and that’s what they’re there for.

Ken: In West Africa, masquerades represent other-than-human, or more powerful, or beyond. So his face is painted to represent other-than.

Liz V.: My sister moved out to California so I wanted to do something that would kind of connect us in a way, so I made sock monkey sisters. So I think Zoey might go and join my sister in California after Doll Neighborhood, and then we’re going to keep them chatting with a webcam.

Liz C.: They’re non-threatening, and soft. They’re easy to love. You can pour a lot of feeling into them. For me, they’re art. They’re not just play things. They’re part of my soul and part of my creative force.

Louise: Dolls are very special because they get their own personalities, and they become like people. Fred is one in a series of Handsome, Sad Men. On this side he looks angry, but on this side he looks sad. I have a thing about handsome, sad men. All my dolls seem to be handsome and sad. And they all seem to be men.

Ellie: I think that when you make a doll, you’re making this kind of alter-person, and that when you speak through that doll, you speak differently.

Sylvia: As I made her, the story started happening. The seventeenth is the day that Eucia doesn’t care to be played with. Her ears are number threes, because where she’s from, each person has a number for their ears. And Number Threes don’t always tell the truth. She’ll always tell you the truth on the seventeenth, though. But maybe. . . you don’t want to do that, because she’s a little angry.

Interviewed by Stephanie Pereira, March 11, 2008

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Monday, March 10, 2008

Doll Sewing Circle

Our second meeting revealed a beautiful and diverse array of dolls-in-progress, included the genesis of the fabric backdrop for our video-play, and lived up to our wildest dreams for our doll-making bee!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Doll Stories

Last night at Gureje, all the doll neighbors met for the first time, and we shared our individual doll stories, then had an amazing fabric swap/initial doll-making session. Thanks Linn Edwards for taking these pictures:

This blog will serve as a space where we can record those memories of dolls past, whether dolls we made or dolls who belonged to our we are simultaneously thinking about our new dolls, and all that they will be.

Please share your stories!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Doll Neighborhood Members Selected

The Doll Neighborhood is happy to announce our list of artist-members:

Abbee Bourret (work pictured)
Aimee Hertog
Angela Earley
Debora Kellogg
Deborah Singletary
Edwin Serrano
Elisha Georgiou
Elizabeth Weiner-Cohen
Ellie Balk
Heather Love
Hilary L Lee
Ibou Ndoye
Julia-Petra and Camille
Joyce Stroman
Ken Wright
Kristin Brenneman Eno
Lauren Hartman
Linn Edwards
Liz Vaisben (work pictured)
Lulu Yee
Louise Fischer Cozzi
Maureen Shea
Minnie Curry
Nathasha Brooks-Harris
Nicole Tammelleo
Selena Lounds
Stephanie Pereira
Sylvia Holden
Tonya Dyce

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Doll Neighborhood: A Call to Artists

Join us as we explore the idea of collaboration surrounding the creation, interaction and display of a collection of unique, handmade dolls. We welcome artists to be a part of this social as well as artistic experiment, a meeting of minds as well as of creative designs. Artists who become members of the collaborative will take part in a sewing circle and video story by welcoming unguarded dialogue as our dolls take on lives of their own. All dolls created by “doll neighborhood” members and our video story will be exhibited at the Renate Albertsen-Marton Space @ Gureje on Pacific Street, between Underhill and Washington Avenue, in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn (opening April 4).

Sewing skills are not required; membership is free; a dedication to the collective vision is imperative. The Village @ Gureje is a committed partner in this project and will provide meeting and exhibition space along with community support.

All Doll Neighborhood members must attend three creative workshops leading up to the exhibition: the first to exchange materials that we will use to make our dolls (Feb. 5), the second to make our dolls together (Feb. 26), the third to make a video in which our completed dolls interact (March 11).

Prospective members should send a paragraph including personal reflections in response to the Doll Neighborhood premise, 1-2 images (72dpi /6 inch max JPGs) of past work or a link to your website, and contact information, to Deadline Jan. 25, 2008. Artists will be notified of acceptance by Jan. 29. For more information about this collaborative project and the Village @ Gureje space, please visit

Download PDF version of Call to Artists.