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Archive for the ‘Beth Robinson’s Strange Dolls’ Category

A multi media show organized by female artists for female artists, “Conjuring: She Rises”, came together in honor of the 325 anniversary of the Salem Witch Trials. Women throughout the ages have and continue to struggle with finding their voices as powerful agents of change within society. We created this show to honor a gathering of our vibrant and powerful voices as modern day female artists working and living in Vermont.

Participating artists include:
Christy Mitchell
Beth Robinson
Leslie Frye
Wylie Garcia
Meredith Muse
Sarah Vogelsang-Card
Morgan Stark
Nyx Black
Athena Kafantaris
Melaney Pettani
Leslie Roth
Nikki Laxar
Annika Rundberg

With traditional help from Abigail Feldman.

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These current sculptures are inspired by Freud’s Madonna Whore Complex. “Men with this complex desire a sexual partner who has been degraded (the whore) while they cannot desire the respected partner (the Madonna). In sexual politics the view of women as either Madonnas or whores limits women’s sexual expression, offering two mutually exclusive ways to construct a sexual identity.”

The final touch was finding Ann Sexton’s poem “Buying The Whore,” which is gouged into the bodies of each sculpture.

Each bust does not have arms or legs or ears and, with each stanza, grow more silenced and constrained. The first sculpture has duct tape over her mouth. The second sculpture wears a ballgag that buckles on the back of her head, the third wears a muzzle that covers much of her face and head. And for the final stanza, the woman’s entire head is covered with only openings for sight and smell. She wears a posture collar that forces her to ‘keep her chin up.’

The busts are quite large compared to my usual scale, coming in at 20 inches tall. Their core is made from foam and plaster. The outer clay is an air dry clay called “Premier” which sands down to a gorgeous finish.  So without further adieu…… here are the Madonna Whores.

“You are the roast beef I have purchased
and I stuff you with my very own onion.

You are a boat I have rented by the hour
and I steer you with my rage until you run aground.”

“You are a glass that I have paid to shatter
and I swallow the pieces down with my spit.”

“You are the grate I warm my trembling hands on,
searing the flesh until it’s nice and juicy.”

“You stink like my Mama under your bra
and I vomit into your hand like a jackpot
its cold hard quarters.”

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Where such men love they have no desire and where they desire they cannot love.
— Sigmund Freud

 

 

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They are 18.5 inches tall sculptures that are mounted to a wood base. Hand sculpted using a mix of polymer clays that, when cured, have a very lifelike, pristine quality. Their clothing is white velveteen and 100% cotton to represent their innocence. They are topped with real human hair.

To compliment the sculptures, I collaborated with jewelry designer, Annika Rundberg, in creating emblems of the dangers of wearing your heart on your sleeve.  I chose concept over function using genuine fish hooks. They are SHARP! The most dangerous parts are bound though they have tiny barbs that have potential to getting caught in ones hair – or an embrace. Wear them as a symbol but not recommended for daily wear.

hookearrings

This sculptures will be on display through the month of October for the annual Art of Horror exhibition and the jewelry is available through my etsy shop. Please contact me if you would like to red dot any of these items: info at strangedolls dot net

The sculptures are $498 each and the earrings are $38 (large) and $28 (small)

hooks2bhooks2ahooks1ahooks1bethbeth-6

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These newest sculptures focus on travels through the underworld, as well as transformation. I have 2 sculptures that are Persephone, the Queen of the Underworld – as well as a delicate creature that has slithered along to encounter the river of Lethe, desperately looking for a way to let go of their humanity and move forward into the afterlife.

Expressing decay in doll form has been a recent interest through the use of burned plastics and exposed wire armature (the “skeleton” of dolls). These dolls are made from wire, rubber, plastics, cheesecloth, Puppen Fimo polymer clay, and plaster. Each piece is available through my etsy shop.

The obsession with creating decay in these creatures has led me on a new journey of getting involved with new technologies – the 3D pen. The pen extrudes a thread of ABS plastic so you can, literally, draw a sculpture. For anyone who has tried it, it has its challenges but I am really excited to share the creations I have made with this new technology (see photo below). They have been described as a witchy nervous system. I hope that you will enjoy them as much as I have enjoyed creating them!

witch2a

 

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I met the ladies of Nerdy Curiosities while vending at Vermont Comic Con and they were kind enough to take the time to do a little interview:

 

Sorry for all ‘ums’ and ‘hms’, my brain was completely frazzled after 2 crazy months of events and vending, the huge success of the Art of Horror opening night (and all the prep that went into it) and the annoyance of the Mixed Emotions show cancellation and the new found home for it at One Arts.

After the interview I promptly got on a plane and took off to the Dominican Republic for a MUCH NEEDED week long vacation amongst Dr. Seuss like palm trees, beautiful flowers, funny birds, and glory of the Caribbean. I did nothing for a week but drink cocktails, listen to music, read voraciously, and doze on the beach, under the stars.

Then I came back home to this:

IMG_20151018_163731

Guess it is time to get back in the studio and get to work. Who wants to be outside?

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Join us for a closing reception, artist talk, and Halloween party Friday, Oct 23rd from 6-8pm. Costume it up!

This show explores the beautiful and sublime and revels in a balance between underlying feelings of unease and open expressions of strong emotion. Come and decide for yourself if you are creeped out. This exhibition was deemed so disturbing it was removed from its previous exhibition venue.

The work is on display through the 31st. ONE Arts​ open hours are Saturdays and Sundays from noon until five.

 

mixed2 mixed3

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The countdown begins! Come visit me next weekend for Art Hop. I will be sharing my old studio space at The S.P.A.C.E. Gallery with Ichor & Teeth & Cullen Johnson. Our space will be the creepiest little corner of the South End Arts District. Come by and say hello!

ART HOP
September 11 – September 13, 2015
266 Pine Street
Suite 105
Burlington, VT 05401

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