Mother Love

In Mother Love, I collaborated with an outsider art making community called the Reborners, a group of self-taught female artists who hand-make, collect and interact with hyper-realistic dolls. Working with the community allowed me to explore the grey area between reality and artifice where relationships are constructed with inanimate objects, between human and doll, artist and artwork, uncanny and real.
After spending a year investigating and recording their practice, I chose to become a Reborner to gain a better understanding of the community. Nine Months of Reborning documents my introduction to the community and the making of my first nine dolls, as well as the working nursery I established in my studio and on eBay, called the Bitten Apple Nursery. Before putting the finished dolls up for adoption on eBay, I took a portrait of each one. The final photograph is the remnant of this exchange. For the subsequent Amy Project, I invited celebrated Artists from the community to individually interpret and idealize the same doll. I then photograph each doll mimicking vernacular school portraits. Each of the dolls are unique to their maker’s hand, but share an uncanny similarity through their common origin. For the final act in the Reborn collaboration, I have identified and appropriated different canonical images of the Christ Child, and invited Reborn artists to create individual portrait babies. Depictions vary drastically from artist to artist, all ultimately presenting their personal, ideal representation of a singular figure. The photographs engage with the tradition of portraiture, evoking classical sculptural busts that are at once familiar and strange.


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