I created Baby Kit immediately after finishing my life-sized human model kit sculpture, ‘And When I’m a Man’. The piece was partly a reaction against the idea that all the parts of a standard model kit assembly should make a unified whole (if put together the components of Baby Kit would actually create two impossibly weird-limbed deformities). But in selecting the right dolls for the sculpture I soon realised that the doll makers themselves had also been creating disturbing hybrids. The largest doll that I used for the construction was itself actually a composite of a human at different developmental stages. The limbs and torso were a mixture of post and prepubescent, whilst the face was mostly that of a young child.
And the story of how I came across this larger doll is probably my most extreme case of serendipity to date (but I do generally seem to live a life of weird coincidences). At the planning stage for Baby Kit I’d been collecting second-hand dolls for a while and made an actual sized, rough charcoal drawing of how I envisaged the eventual sculpture. And that’s were the project ground to a halt. For I quickly realised that I didn’t have a doll big enough to provide three of the elements that I needed to make the sculpture. So, I decided to put the project on the back burner until something presented itself. Fortunately I didn’t have to wait long. Within a few days I was walking home, and mulling the problem over in my head, when I had a sudden urge to change my route, and walk a different way. As I did so I came across a black plastic bin bag at the side of the road, and sticking out of it was the lower half of a large plastic doll’s leg. So I pulled on it and out came the whole doll, exactly the size that I needed to complete my sculpture. ‘The Universe provides’, as my inner hippy might say.
Baby Kit, plastic doll parts, wood, PVC, resin (and a lot of luck).