I just uploaded something like 230 photos from my trip to India into my Flickr photostream. I’m still not really sure the best way to contextualize the photos and organize them. There are a few groups I’d like to blog about here.
Given my love for my Blythe dolls, I naturally had to take every opportunity I could to examine dolls in India. This featured photo is of a doll of a tribal woman. I went to a doll exhibit at the natural history museum in Kochi. (I hope to further identify the museum later, when I consult my notes). I just love the detail in her jewelry and the delicate craftsmanship of her clothing. The dolls were all in glass cases, so it was difficult to photograph them, but the one advantage of the mirrored backing to the cases was that it was possible to see the back of the doll’s outfit as well.
Other dolls from the exhibit including one demonstrating how to wrap a sari, and several traditional bridal outfits.
The second encounter with dolls was a really spontaneous one. In Bangalore, India, I visited the National Liturgical Centre. Our group meet Sr. Francoise Bosteels. She’s a Belgian woman who has lived in India for thirty years. She originally started making dolls as a hobby to explore her interest in the daily life of Indian people. Her dolls showed people weaving, knitting, fishing – the tasks of life. And then she started making dolls that brought attention to the many social injustices she saw. She has two books published, Through the Needle’s Eye and The Dolls Speak, and is currently working on a third. The books have poems written to tell the story of the dolls they are paired with. I bought several copies of each of her books.
What I really loved about her artwork was of course that it was connected to giving a voice to those who often go unheard, but artistically speaking, her dolls had a look of movement about them that was really quite compelling.
The third type of dolls I found were brightly colored puppets like these ones for sale in Kochi. I was really drawn to the energy in the style of the puppets, and if I had any children to buy gifts for, or any storage space at all, I definitely would have taken some home.