Previous AA2A Artist

Teresa Wilson

Project summary:

My aim during the AA2A residency will be to develop my work with dolls to create animated installations. My intention is to create a dramatic, slowly moving tableaux of figures using hidden motors and cams etc. The funding for the project will be spent on the mechanical equipment needed and the installation rooms in the college will be used for experimenting with these ideas.

My main practice involves the making of dolls which explore ideas and feelings of melancholy, isolation and fear. Shadowy figures offer a darkly romantic vision of a dreamlike alternative reality. My starting point is often a literary reference, such as folk tales and fairy tales but these not specified and the viewer is left to make up his/her own stories. Recent work has focussed on stories of changeling babies and the mother’s fear of rejection, or rejecting of her own child.

The dolls are made from re-used materials, old clothes, bedding etc and use old furniture and found objects as props. The method of 'wrapping' with rags suggests mummification and refers to the opposing processes of natural decay of the body and the desire to artificially preserve it.

The work relates to the preserved ancient human bodies to be seen in museums, such as Egyptian mummies and bog bodies. It also references Medieval macabre and the Pre - Enlightenment popular belliefs in the 'other people' - beliefs in the supernatural that were held by almost everyone not so long ago, but now linger in the collective unconscious, in irrational fears of darkness, ghosts and the unknown.

The aim is to create a macabre alternative vision of reality, which by its dark humour and creepy suggestions, seeks to question our own death denying culture.

textile/mixed media doll