The Black Doll Series

The Black Doll Series is a collection of non-gestural, digital images rooted in the aesthetic tradition of geometric abstraction. Sourcing original imagery of black vintage dolls for sale on e-commerce sites like Etsy and eBay, the dolls have been abstracted beyond recognition and paired with their original item description as image captions. 

The mass production of black dolls dates back centuries. With these “digital paintings” I am interested in the interplay between social representation and memory in relation to the historical constructions of race and gender as seen in children's play. Abstraction is used here to deconstruct the stereotypical representations of each doll, as noted in the image captions.

Can digital colors and geometric shapes be used to deconstruct stereotypes? Can abstraction help the viewer unsee their own mental archive of oppression?


"With striking formal regularity and colourful geometric abstraction, her images are the result of the digital re-creation of pictures of vintage ethnic dolls from websites like Ebay. At the same time as expressing depersonalisation, they are similarly an attempt to challenge visual stereotypes, and to perhaps also re-appropriate colour from the symbolic taint of history."

Daniel Pateman (Photomonitor UK)