Updated: Nov 5, 2021
"We Are All Mad Here" is a collection of OOAK art dolls for Hitogata Ten 人・形展 exhibition by DolsBallad at Marunoichi Tokyo on 13th-19th of October.
This dark interpretation of Alice in Wonderland, takes place in an asylum and inside Alice's fragmented mind.
As a child Alice fell into a rabbit hole, and broke all her bones. She grew up but never healed, now bound to a whelchair in an Asylum. Her father attempted to cheer her up by writing a story of her adventures in the Wonderland, but only succeeded in creating an obsession. Now Alice does nothing but reads the book over and over gain. In her mind, everyone around her appears as a character in the story.
The doctor taking her pulse with a pocket watch becomes the White Rabbit. They are always in a hurry. Always late.
A retired ballerina, who lost her leg reminds her of a Pink Flamingo. Silk of her shoes torn and patched in places. The pink of her costume faded to dust. We are all covered in dust. Forgotten by the world...
There is a woman in a red straitjacket. Always screaming like the Red Queen. She uses the prosthesis stolen from Pink Flamingo as a croquet mallet. What a strange person. She's lost her eye. Lost her mind. Like me. We are all mad here. The way world made us.
The exhibition visitors have the priority to buy them at the gallery, but if some dolls in the collection are left I will offer them for sale Internationally. You can contact me directly for to be added on the waiting list for these dolls. email@example.com
The dolls are hybrids with Inamorata 2.0 bodies and 3.0 heads in Milk resin. I experimented with a new face-up style that evokes my drawing style rather than traditional beauty makeup. All dolls also have multi hued eyes with textural detail painted between several layers of resin. The bodies have hyper realistic blushing with veins and beauty marks. This is a collection of art dolls, and even though the costumes have closures, the garments, shoes and braces are very difficult to dress and more fragile that fashions I usually make. Hence these are not fashions dolls and not really designed to be redressed.
"It's no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then."
Alice features the 3.0 Shani head sculpt and Busty Inamorata 2.0 petite body. Her hair is a long fishtail braid in white alpaca. She wears a full body medical support brace wet sculpted from vegetable tanned cowhide over her childlike lingerie chemise and lace skirt. The steampunk wheelchair has cogs and gears from several vintage watch mechanisms and a reading stand for a miniature book (first edition of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland). The chair is upholstered in red silk with diamond pattern tufting, brass coloured piping and hardwood veneer.
"...the only difficulty was, that her flamingo was gone across to the other side of the garden, where Alice could see it trying in a helpless sort of way to fly up into a tree."
The Pink Flamingo features the 3.0 Chie head sculpt and Busty Inamorata 2.0 petite body. Her hair is an basket weave chignon updo in white angora mohair. She wears a ballet dress in hand dyed silk, lace and ostrich feathers. Her costume and ballet shoes are distressed and unravelled to give them and worn look. Underneath her tutu is a leather garter belt that attaches to her prosthetic leg or the stump covering. The prosthetic leg has is hand carved in a style of Chinese ivory ornaments. The foot had faux joints as if it could move.
"Off with their heads!"
The Red Queen features the 3.0 Nsia head sculpt and Busty Inamorata 2.0 petite body. Her hair is a Helena Bonham-Carter inspired rat's nest in white angora mohair. She wears a haute couture straight jacket dress in red silk and a leather eye patch. Her Victorian lace up boots are calf length and made of wet sculpted vegetable tanned cow hide.
The Red Queen playing croquet with the prosthetic leg stolen from the Pink Flamingo. Since they aren't allowed mallets, croquet gates or balls at the asylum, she has to improvise with balled up paper (with pics of hedgehogs) and oversized playing cards as gates.
"How Long is Forever? Sometimes, just one second."
The White Rabbit features the 3.0 Sura head sculpt and Androgynous Inamorata 2.0 petite body. Their white angora mohair hair is inspired Tilda Swindon in Constantine. They wear a Victorian suit all in white. Tux pleated cotton shirt, bow tie, striped high wasted pants and a vintage silk waistcoat. The look would be nothing without the classic pocket watch on a chain that they obsess over in their endless anxiety.
Alice's miniature book is modelled after the first edition of the Alice's Adventures in the Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. The pages have a stitched binding, so you can turn the pages.
The concept for this collection has been on my mind for over a decade. I originally planned to make it using FR dolls (which I collected at the time) and Inamorata didn't even exist yet. The idea has evolved a lot in my mind over the years and I only had the time to make half the characters I really wanted. So maybe there will be a second edition to this collection with Cheshire Cat, Tweedledee and Tweedledum, and others. I wanted to channel the dark and moody atmosphere of my favourite museum in Tokyo, Intermediatheque, that encapsulates the morbidity of Victorian cabinet of curiosities. I'm so glad I finally found time, courage and venue to bring these doll's to life.
I was also influenced by the intriguing psychology of the of Alice in Wonderland. If you want to take a leap down the rabbit hole I highly recommend the David Robson's article that views the story through the looking glass of modern neuroscience.