(Chelsea Update would like to thank Shawn Personke for the information in this story.)
Doll maker Jill Andrews of Chelsea will exhibit her work at Gallery 100, at Silver Maples of Chelsea, from March 7 to April 20.
Titled “Maker Dolls: Archetypes, Celebrities, and Private Lives,” Andrews is a maker, artist and writer, who designs and constructs character dolls. Some are archetypes from folklore or history; some are famous personalities; others are friends or loved ones, according to information about the exhibition.
She is particularly intrigued by symmetry in nature and architecture, and most often creates abstract, colorful pieces, according to a press release about the event.
“Jill’s dolls are lively and immediately creations,” said Lois de Leon, a resident volunteer coordinator, adding, “They are not only delightful works of art but also astute portraits of real people.
“Her ability to combine acute observations of character and personality with artistic ability makes the dolls come alive,” she said.
Andrews says that maker dolls also build on thousands of years of history. Archaeological evidence suggests that dolls are the oldest known toy; dolls found in Egyptian tombs date to as early as 2000 BCE.
In most cultures, she says, dolls were used as carriers of cultural heritage–icons passed down through multiple generations, who both preserved and communicated stories of the human condition.
“I think of Maker Dolls as present-day icons – unique messengers who remind us that our lives can be rich and multidimensional through making (or learning to make),” said Andrews, adding, “Each is a caricature of a real person. Each tells a unique story. Some are archetypes from folklore or history; some are famous personalities; others are friends or loved ones.”
Each persona is carefully researched before design and construction, Andrews adds. Each face is hand-painted, and most have been needle-sculpted. Each body is crafted using organic and/or recycled fabric, and dressed with custom clothing. Many feature recycled jewelry, vintage buttons, beads and in some cases, found objects.