When I lived in Dublin and my second child was old enough to toddle around the garden, I used to bring him out into our quiet little cul-de-sac to play with the other older children. I stayed outside with him all the time, often sitting on the kerb to get down to his eye level. The other children joined us on the kerb and began to treat me as just another pal, in fact they would call and ask if we were going out to play. Their innocence and trusting natures and how quickly they accepted me, stayed with me and it later affected my thinking on this project Dolls Play.
This project began as I investigated how a child’s play is influenced by their surroundings and environment and how their play reflects their exposure to adult sometimes inappropriate experiences. I built and painted a simple set, gathered props and dolls from friends and then used my own experiences and further more focused research into sexualised children to execute the pieces.
Subjects such as popular culture, religion, pornography, suicide and drug use were among some of the tableaus I created and photographed. The project created an interesting mix of reactions, some people were appalled by the scenes and the fact that I used dolls to represent adult subjects, others found some scenes amusing or upsetting depending on their point of view. I made an artist’s book of the photos without text.