The creatures collected in my studio were usually older, they had been abused and abandoned, relegated to the bottom of a cardboard box or even withstood the harshness of Florida humidity and heat. Some are icons of a prior time and culture: Charlie McCarthy, the ventriloquist dummy with a bullet hole in his face, a blue gowned diva doll, with her missing jewels and her lost sight and a wish list cowgirl. Then, there is the forever Barbie masquerading as Tinkerbelle in one of her many incarnations. She is no longer just Barbie, but she has the frozen glamour of an icon to unrealized dreams and instant obsolescence. All these dolls were once so adored and needed, the best friend of a lonely child, then they were dismissed and discarded for their inability to be what we thought they were.
The poet, Rainer Maria Rilke, writes about the evolving relationship the child has with their doll. How the young person bestows all their love and confidence on the doll until one day they realize that their endearments and needs are met with silence. Their best friend is an unresponsive, sexless and lifeless corpse. Maybe, my interest is to see the metaphors within the child's short-lived life with the doll. Do we learn to cope with or reject the silence, even from God himself?
It is all Child's play.
--Jane Tuckerman, 2012
Jane Tuckerman is featured in the upcoming Panopticon Gallery exhibition Child's Play, opening April 19th. To see more of these images, visit our website.