Don't be fooled by the picture; there’s more to dolls than a cute face and a nice dress as visitors to the The Sitting Room coffee shop’s new art space can discover for themselves next month.
Organised by St Albans artist Sam Sawdy, the Doll Art exhibition features new works specifically made for the event. Sam tells me that not all of the artists have an interest in dolls, but they have approached the subject from their own perspective.
Sam, 38, set up the group with artists from all over the country and internationally using the internet.
“For my work, I spend a lot of time in front of the computer, so it’s great to meet so many people who are keen, willing and helpful. There are artists from Manchester, Birmingham, Russia, Brighton, Latvia and South Africa,” says Sam, who studied graphic design and illustration at the University of Hertfordshire.
“Some are graduates, fine artists, three are professionals and there are others who just paint a lot. Ana Healey also lives in St Albans and makes realistic babies, which are so life-like it’s quite scary.”
Other artists showing are body artist Jessica Kim Seagreen, conceptual photographer Andy Glinka, photojournalist Jane Skinner, humorist Daniel Johnson, abstract artist Julia Chemerenskaya and St Albans born fine artist Harriet Muller. There will also be works by Carolyn Bayliss who makes life-size rag dolls which comment on women’s sexuality, illustrator Carlos Garde-Martin who works across mediums such as graffiti, comics, toys, ‘80s cartoons, and early video games, historical documentary artist Roisin Weintraub, Vinetta Gailite who creates grotesques and Michelle Allberry who uses cut up paper and fabric to build vibrant collages.
“I have a ridiculous collection of paper, mostly made up of the tiniest scraps that I cannot bear to throw away,” says Michelle. “I love turning flat rectangles of coloured paper into a picture. I make it up as I go along.”
The Doll Art Exhibition is on show at The Sitting Room, 117 Hatfield Road, St Albans from Friday, May 7 to Sunday, May 9. www.artinthesittingroom.co.uk