dolls

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History

They're Baaaack: Meet the Creepy Dolls from the History Center of Olmsted County Collection

October 22, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © History Center of Olmsted County

We’re sorry to introduce you to the cursed cast of the History Center of Olmsted County’s notorious Creepy Doll Contest: there’s the demonic “Miss Abyss” and her glowing portal-like eyes, the conniving criminal mastermind “Professor Moriarty” that will likely convince you to commit some unspeakable atrocity, and “Lizzie Bordon” that, like the infamous ax murderer herself, is sure to chop you to bits.

The center launched the project in 2019 as an innocuous way to explore its collection, although it’s since created an annual event of unleashing the horrors you see here. If you’re in Minnesota, you can attend the creepy doll cocktail party on October 23 (at your own risk, of course), and otherwise, cast your vote for the demonic character most likely to haunt your dreams on Instagram. (via Hyperallergic)

 

“Miss Abyss”

“T-Rex”

“Lady Corn Husk”

“Professor Moriarty”

“Princess Aouda”

“Cloudy Eye”

“Miss Havisham”

“Lizzie Bordon”

“Gagool”

 

 



Design

A Set of Six Uniquely Textured Toys Engages Children in Processing Their Emotions

November 20, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

A set of six figurines made from wood and silicone are designed to help children process difficult memories and emotions. Created Israeli designer Yaara Nusboim, the “Alma” dolls correlate to different feelings: fear, pain, emptiness, love, anger and safety. The unique textures and colors of fuschia spikes, turquoise shards, and pink petals prompt children to engage with the dolls in different ways.

Nusboim envisions the dolls being used as part of play therapy, wherein a therapist can observe their young patient’s behaviors and choices with the toys to help unpack underlying psychological or emotional concerns. “Playing with a toy provides a safe psychological distance from the child’s private problems and allows them to experience thoughts and emotions in a way that’s suitable for their development,” the designer explained to Dezeen.

Take a peek into the design process in the video below, and explore more of Nusboim’s socially conscious designs on her website. (via Dezeen)

 

 



Craft Design

Miniature Interior Decor Elements Crafted With Impeccable Detail by Kiyomi

December 11, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Japanese miniaturist Kiyomi imitates antiques with a stunning attention to detail, creating worn and clouded glass jars, slightly tarnished silverware, and cases packed with dozens of drawers. The talented craftswoman produces pieces for dollhouses out of paper, wire, wood, and other materials that imitate their larger companions. To give her audience a sense of scale, the artist will present her small works alongside a scaleable object, either placing a miniature chair on the seat of a regularly proportioned seat or dwarfing a set of drawers by putting it on the step of a ladder. You can see more of her antique items and delicious-looking fake pastries on her Instagram and website.  (via My Modern Met)

 

 



Art Documentary

Valley of Dolls: A Bizarre Town in Japan Where an Artist is Replacing Departed Residents with Life-Sized Dolls

May 2, 2014

Christopher Jobson

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Photo by horiyan

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This is one of those things you might never believe if somebody told you, and yet even when faced with the evidence in photos, video, or Google Maps, you find yourself questioning reality (and maybe shaking off a serious case of the heebie jeebies). Welcome to Nagoro, a small village tucked into the valleys of Shikoku, Japan, a place where old residents are being replaced by life-sized dolls.

The work is part of a project by longtime resident and artist Ayano Tsukimi who returned to the village after an 11-year absence to discover many of her old neighbors and friends had left for larger cities or simply passed away. The town itself is dying with a dwindling population of about 35 people.

While gardening one day, Tsukimi constructed a scarecrow in the image of her father and was suddenly struck with the idea to replace other friends and family members with similar dolls. Over 350 dolls and 10 years later, her work continues. She places each doll in a place she feels is important to the memory of that person, so strolling through the down you might discover these inanimate memorials working in fields, fishing in rivers, or passing time in chairs along the road.

Berlin-based filmmaker Fritz Schumann recently visited with the 64-year-old artist and shot the documentary short above. (via Dan Sinker, The Verge)