Sunday, March 11, 2012

Raggedy Barbie

Yesterday, inspired by a call for submissions for an Altered Barbie art show at happy delusions, I spent a rainy Seattle afternoon holed up in my studio making this:

I call it Raggedy Barbie.

I printed the face onto photo transfer paper, ironed it onto canvas material and using McKenna's Raggedy Ann doll as a reference, cut out all the body parts like this:

 Then stuffed it, sewed on yarn hair, and made a patchwork print dress and ribbon belt.

Here's a close-up. 

I probably spent over 6 hours making it. Minus the Barbie face, it looks a lot like a rag doll I had when I was little - her name was Minneapolis and she had yellow yarn hair and a patchwork dress. In college, I made several rag doll-related works of art including a 3-dimensional fabric collage atop an antique quilt titled Annabelle Lives in A Patchwork World. It was a girl (composed of my clothes) with yellow yarn hair leaning against a fabric tree. I also made a painting of Raggedy Anne all grown up and stuck in a toy box.

 It hangs in McKenna's room now. I suppose rag dolls are a theme for me, which is why when I thought about how to alter Barbie I instantly thought of making a her into a traditional rag doll. Barbies are usually sexy and stylish. Rag dolls? Not so much. The juxtaposition of the two is a wee bit off-putting. When I was nearly finished making it McKenna walked in, looked at it, screamed! and said, "That's a creepy doll mom!"

 Ha! She warmed up to her though.

And now they're friends.


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