carmen Garaghon

Dolls are at the centre of my practice and my work explores their multiple and complex significance as symbols, often intertwined with spirituality, ritual, communal and personal identities. Having appeared alongside us in every culture throughout our history, and being found in every museum, dolls can be a way of expressing a culture’s beliefs and values. My work explores the notion of a ‘doll’, questioning its function as more than a toy, and queries whether ‘play’ can exist outside of the child’s domain.  I am interested in the capacity of play to allow us to cope with past and future situations and to step out of the ordinary existence and into the extraordinary. By creating changes in play, it can be possible to create changes which become tangible in the real world, exploring the blending and blurring between play and ritual.

If we accept these ideas, then dolls can be viewed as vessels which transmit meaning. They are pieces of material culture and my practice uses art as a visual form of enquiry, asking questions which relate to human behaviour, social, cultural or political issues. These may be personal or connected to my place in the world and relationships and events around me. The dolls hold intimate memories and my work has grown to become a kind of creative storehouse of objects that refer to personal memories or evoke events.