In this project, I combine the abstraction of illustration with the clarity of photography in a photographic comic series with cloth dolls. The dolls are handmade of dyed cotton batik (using fiber artist Patti Medaris Culea's patterns), and the environments in which I stage them are built from cardboard and paper. The materials are basic and even childlike, but the dolls and sets take on a vibrant, lively appearance with the help of colorful lighting setups. The resulting aesthetic is joyous and moody, playful and profound. Each photograph becomes a panel in the final comic page, which I arrange digitally, and the resulting collection of frames resembles a strip of photographic film, providing glimpses into a constructed life that resembles our own in feeling as well as form.
I grew up playing with dolls, and in my current artistic practice, doll-making facilitates my search for human truth by embodying both the construction and the condensation of personhood. Dolls look like us, but are different enough from us to be a perfect (and sometimes literal) canvas upon which to project meaning and aesthetic value. I hope in this project to explore solitude, connection, and stillness in a medium that will feel at once strange and familiar to the viewer.