A shared passion for recycling fabrics, materials and found objects from nature have brought four contemporary doll-makers together to present “All Dolled Up” at Taupō Museum. This colourful show opens in the Niven Room on Saturday 3 November.
Claire Inwood lives at Piha Beach on Auckland’s wild west coast where she gets inspiration and materials from her surroundings. She learnt the craft of doll-making in Colorado 18 years ago and has exhibited extensively in New Zealand and the USA. Recycling is a huge part of her work and wherever possible she uses discarded or pre-used items. Her skills were passed on from her mother and grandmother and she works without a pattern so that each doll emerges as a unique piece with a touch of humour. She also teaches doll-making and wearable art.
Jennifer Town has a background in making props for the Australian Opera and Mercury Theatre in Auckland. She also made costumes for the musical “Cats” and models for Mad Max III and was a scenic painting tutor for six years at Unitec Auckland. She is currently a full-time mixed media artist and has her own art and craft studio on Waiheke Island where she creates her curvaceous mermaids.
Sue Claremont has been creating doll-like figures for 15 years after a career in the display and signwriting industry. Originally assisted by her late father who had extensive knowledge of clay and mould-making from his years at Crown Lynn Potteries, she makes all the ceramic components in this current series. Both of her grandmothers were needlewomen and artists so the desire for Sue to be creative was inevitable. She has exhibited in and curated a number of exhibitions and owns Nikau Gallery on Waiheke Island.
Helen Mills’ foray into doll-making began after attending a course in felt-making. From there her creativity blossomed and her attention to fine detail is evident in her designs where she incorporates handmade felt, enhanced found objects and various techniques to create her delightful figures which depict personified images of the spirit of nature.
The dolls are all original and for sale. All Dolled Up runs until 4 December. Taupō Museum is open daily from 10.00am until 4.30pm.