Oh, how exciting! I’ve jsut been approached by one of the local Community Houses to whip up a workshop for their Turkish ladies knitting group. Oh, how ace! I’m going to create a generic doll for them to knit and then create a number of costumes so they can pick what they want to have their doll wearing. It was suggested that they could make Turkish dolls, so I’ve been looking on the net for pictures for research. The Turkish have some incredible costumes! And of course, a long tradition of belly dancing, so it’s right down my burlesque dolls alley!
The ladies are going to be knitting between 2 and 4 dolls each, which will then go on display in the local justice centre.
The other option they’ll have is to knit modern clothing, so they can knit a little doll of themselves, or their grandchildren. My grandmother used to knit dolls of us when we were little, which is what inspired Totem, and I’d love if I could carry on her legacy by encouraging other people to do the same.
I had a look at other projects people from the Neighbourhood House, one of which were dioramas of old Richmond shops. They were incredibly detailed and lovingly crafted. Some used merchandised dolls, there was a bar scene with a huge muscled doll that I recognised but couldn’t place, and an incredibly detailed two story Dimmeys store comeplete with signs, bolts of fabric and shelves. Each one came with a little story of entering the shop, or what the artist remembered from visiting the store years ago. I fell in love with the craftsmanship and artistry of these amazing artworks from people who have never had any formal art training at all.
I really think it’s something I want to persue, community stuff like this. Its organising local communities into making art like I do with artists. And the stuff they make is so beautiful. It’s a really interesting avenue.