Saturday, March 29, 2008

Morag - The Great One - Dollar Store Doll Makeover

Ok, so I FINALLY finished a participatory art project called the Dollar Store Doll Makeover Challenge. I say finally because poor Morag was staring at me in her "Before" state from several areas (I kept moving her) in my studio. I found out about this challenge while teaching a photography course in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico in January. I was doing a search on Polaroid submissions and this challenge came up. I was thrilled because it is based in Calgary, with participants from all over the world. I picked my doll from 100 on the site, and received her soon after I got home. She was sent to me for free in exchange for me making her over, photographing her on Polaroid in her "before" and "after" states, and writing a bit about her life. The images and story are sent back to the Secret Society of Analogue Art, posted to the site, I keep Morag.

I love the concept of participatory art projects. Over the course of this project I have exchanged several emails with Pamela Klaffke, who is the brains behind the project, and the whole Secret Society. I feel the same rush that she does about putting a concept out there and seeing how it evolves and what it becomes, when so many are involved. She is doing all this without a grant, which is huge since it cost her $9 just to mail my doll, which cost her $1, to me in Banff, which is pretty much up the road from Calgary (Canada Post sucks for shipping within our own country, don't get me started...). I feel I have met a kindred spirit (I love the internet) whom I can get to know since she lives close by. I plan to submit work to her creepy wonderful and review of meats projects. Pamela has me inspired to create my own challenge.

So back to Morag. I chose Morag because she seems a bit sad, a shy wallflower. I turned her into an art photographer who likes to take tasteful, nude Polaroids... LOL! Here is Morag, before, and after, in a dress made of stash fabric and a Polaroid and tulle, and a wicked collar, also made from a Polaroid. The text reads like this:

"For years, I had put myself on the shelf, so to speak... I was surrounded by creative people and the tools to be creative myself, but I was content to let fear hold me hostage. One day, I could hear the voice of my grandmother, who used to tell me when I was small, that my name was Scottish for great one. Tears filled my eyes when I remember how she had told me no to let being small get in the way of my being great. I got down from the shelf. I have decided to live up to my name."

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