About once a week, I visit the local Goodwill Outlet Center to scavenge for parts to make assemblage sculptures. In case you don’t know-- the Outlet Center is the last stop for all the stuff that doesn’t sell at the regular Goodwill Stores, before it goes to the landfill.
One day of foraging, I came across this weird faceless doll.
I assume it originally came with stickers, stencils, or some kind of snap-on faces. Her limbs aren't articulated and her head only moves side to side—not normally a toy I would give a second glance to. So I tossed it aside and resumed my search.
But she has ears. This detail kept rattling in my brain while I was rummaging through the giant bins of other discarded items. How strange that she can hear, but not speak, smell or see.
So I retrieved her, with no real plan--although my mind kept returning to the Graeae (those 3 blind witches from Greek mythology that share one eye between them).
The first step with the assemblage was to I replace her body with a glass bottle. I use a lot of vessels in my assemblage work--the symbolism speaks to me. (But that’s for another post).
Like the Graeae, her eyes are magical objects, held within a mask I sculpted from polymer clay.
The mask and wings (part of a Happy Meal toy) were painted to resemble the iridescence of a raven's feathers. Together with the headdress they represent the spirit of the raven, which is associated with the Greek God Apollo, the god of Prophecy. Her skin is painted to resemble aged metal to give her permanence and strength.
One of her (clay-modified Barbie) hands lifts the fabric that covers her belly to reveal her gift, represented by a single large pearl (modified bead).
Without giving away all her secrets, I will say that there are other details for those with a penchant for symbolism. It’s a small sculpture, but I hope she will be scrutinized closely, and appreciated for what she conveys.